Monday, March 14, 2016

Herbalife reports mistakes in counting active new members

Herbalife Ltd. reported recently this year 2016, that it had misstated for months a measure of its business that the nutritional-supplement maker created to defend itself against activist investor Bill Ackman’s accusations that it is a Ponzi scheme.

The company said “database scripting errors” led it to misreport the number of active new members, a metric that it first mentioned on a call with analysts and investors in August. It gave incorrect figures 28 times over three earnings calls. Herbalife said the error wouldn’t change its audited financial results.

For example, the company originally reported its active new members rose 8.3% for 2015, but now says the correct amount was a 3.4% increase.

The admission is a victory for Mr. Ackman, who has waged a three-year battle against the company. Mr. Ackman argues that Herbalife overstates the actual number of customers buying its protein shakes, dietary supplements and other products. Herbalife denies the charges and says the investor is trying to manipulate its share price.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bill Ackman confident Valeant will bouce back

Valeant had said on Sunday night that it would delay releasing its fourth-quarter earnings, as well as withdrawing its financial guidance and admitting it would not be able to file its annual report to regulators on a form 10-K within a 15-day extension period.

The company also said that chief executive Michael Pearson - on medical leave since December - would return to work immediately.

Speaking exclusively to CNBC on Monday night, Ackman, whose Pershing Square fund holds a stake of about 9 percent in Valeant, said he had spoken to Pearson and was delighted that the CEO was back at work.

"We expect that much of the uncertainty will be resolved in the relative short term, hopefully over the next few or so weeks, when we expect the company to issue results, update guidance, and file its 10-K," the investor said.

"Based on publicly available information, it appears that Valeant's core franchises remain strong."

Ackman added, however, that the company needed to do a "much better job managing its public and investor relations, which the company has committed to strengthen."