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E*TRADE Financial Corporation Message Board

lucky_lenny_1964 237 posts  |  Last Activity: 12 hours ago Member since: Mar 5, 2005
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  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 12 hours ago Flag

    I think the downfall of the short sellers is they're falling into the trap of believing since everyone isn't successful at selling Herbalife, then the Company must be a fraud & must be shut down. That's not reality. In many industries, such as acting studios & modeling schools, the vast majority of graduates don't become movie stars. How many baseball & football clinics train athletes who never play in college or the pro's?

  • lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 12 hours ago Flag

    you're kidding... right... ibm has like halved the # of o/s shares

  • IBM continues to be extremely profitable; buying back shares; and they have a very sticky customer base. At a Fortune 500 company I worked for, IBM was our hosted service provider for all of our stored data, applications and back-up. In this manner, my company didn't need yesteryear's in-house huge computer rooms with wall-to-wall servers & storage. It's a win-win. My company saved a ton of money by outsourcing & probably higher up-time; and IBM made a ton of money by setting up an incredibly effective cloud-based service. And thank-you a 100 times over to IBM's Board for continuing the share buybacks.

  • According to articles in the WSJ & Bloomberg, the FTC, along with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, had been formally requested by Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, to look into Herbalife’s business practices. The FTC is headed by a left-wing liberal; Edith Ramirez, appointed by Obama, was more than happy to oblige Sen. Markey's baseless request. Sen. Markey was lobbied by Ackman to request the FTC government investigation. And yes, Ackman donated to Sen. Markey's campaign in a round-about way. The reason I don't think the FTC will bring forth charges against Herbalife is because there's no basis for the investigation to begin with. All this quasi-corruption on the part of Sen. Markey & Chairman Ramirez is covered in several Boston Globe articles; just google on it.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 26, 2014 11:25 AM Flag

    In the battle betwen Ackman & Icahn, has anyone looked at their investment track records? If so, you'll see Icahn has a lifetime of investment success. Ackman, on the other hand, investment failure. If you google on "bill ackman gotham partners," you'll see Ackman's previous hedge fund, Gotham Partners, once worth $300 million, became defunct in 2002 over ill-fated investments in golf courses. Ackman even tried diverting monies from healthy businesses to the golf courses; but the minority shareholders sued to prevent the diversion of funds. Gotham partners was subsequently wound down in 2003. At a minimum, it shoes Ackman ehxibited reckless behavior. One one bad investment should never be able to sink an entire portfolio. In 2004, Ackman was able to start back up under Pershing Square Capital Management. In 2012, Pershing Square started shorting Herbalife. Given, Ackman's failed track record at Pershing, Herbalife should do very well.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 26, 2014 10:36 AM Flag

    moass... got it... Mother Of All Short Squeeze... yes... If I were 1 of the 13D filers... I would be sitting back and doing nothing right now... I would let the shares drop as low as they could... the short sellers are gambling the FTC is going to swoop in and shut Herbalife down... given the lack of FTC-related complaints... such an action appears highly unlikely.... in the meantime... HLF continues racking up profits, growing sales and buying back shares... as of 9/30/14, HLF's short position was 30.1 mill shs... with only 91.2 mill shs o/s diluted... between the ongoing share buybacks further reducing the share count... massive holdings of insiders such as Carl Icahn... exactly how do the shorts plan on covering... per Forbes article, dated 7/22/13, "Icahn predicted that Ackman’s Herbalife investment could produce the “mother of all short squeezes'" ... given these conditions, Icahn's prediction may come true.

  • Reply to

    Has Ackman already started to cover?

    by wffln Oct 22, 2014 4:43 PM
    lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 26, 2014 8:41 AM Flag

    Wow!!! Herbalife keeps buying back shares and the short sellers keep shorting more shares. How long can this go on for?. I don't see any 13D filers reducing their positions. And guess what... per WSJ... short interest in HLF just hit another record... as of 9/30/14 - 30.1 mill... as of 9/15/14 - 27.8 mill... 8/29/14 (27.5 mill)... 8/15/14 (26.6 mill). Besides the incremental increases in HLF's short position, the outstanding shares are evaporating due to HLF's robust earnings and ongoing buybacks. I can see the panic buying setting in at any time... exactly how do the shorts plan on covering???

  • lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 26, 2014 8:38 AM Flag

    There's no legal basis for charging Herbalife for any wrongdoing of the distributors. As independent distributors; they're not employees. If a particular distributor did something wrong, the law can deal w/ that particular distributor. HLF would not be party to a transaction between a distributor and customer; and therefore HLF has zero liability. If there's an issue w/ HLF's product, that's another story. But just the run-of-the-mill bad business practice of a distributor should not harm HLF. Otherwise, Kraft, P&G, Pepsi, and other other 3rd-party seller of product would have to close down shop tomorrow.

  • Reply to

    ftc's quagmire

    by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 24, 2014 9:27 PM
    lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 26, 2014 8:29 AM Flag

    Ignat, could u stop posting mis-information. . . the FTC claimed that BurnLounge was a pyramid scheme because the company pays more money for recruiting new store owners than for selling music. The lawsuit claimed that BurnLounge ". . . made very little money from the sale of music, and made the vast majority of its money from independent associates (named "moguls") paying between $29.95 and $429.95 a year plus fees, for the right to sell music." Versus a company such as Herbalife, which doesn't make a dime from recruiting.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 25, 2014 8:27 PM Flag

    I'm 100% confident the FTC will side with Herbaflie. I think Ackman may unwittingly be making HLF's case... Pershing Square's analysis of the pyramid ruling against BurnLounge incorrectly concludes the same applies to HLF. It doesn't. BurnLounge, Inc. was a multi-level marketing online music store which made its money from recruiting new associates; not from selling any online music. Specfically, ". . . the Court held that BurnLounge was a pyramid scheme because the purchase of BurnLounge packages by participants did not reflect “consumer demand for the merchandise in the packages,” but, rather, “[t]he merchandise in the packages was simply incidental” to the purchase of the “right to participate in the money-making venture.” Given herbalife's $5 billion in annual product sales, how does Ackman explain Herbalife not having consumer demand? Same goes for lack of sales of bona fide products, "The Ninth Circuit rejected BurnLounge’s contention that the FTC was required to show that BurnLounge’s rewards were “completely unrelated to the sales of bona fide products,” holding instead that BurnLounge was a pyramid scheme because “the rewards BurnLounge paid were primarily for recruitment, not for the sale of products” . . . Again, HLF's $5 bill in annual sales prove that HLF has a bona fide product. HLF has a 100% money back guarantee on all unopened product for distributors. For these reasons, HLF will be shown to be selling product; not recruiting new associates.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 25, 2014 1:12 PM Flag

    On 10/24/14, Bloomberg ran a story quoting Herbalife's CFO as sayin "We anticipate at the end of the day we will be exonerated.” Given the charges were bogus to begin with, this tells me HLF will be totally exonerated... I think it's a conservative prediction to say shares will hit a more normal 20-or so p/e in the next 6-12 months... or at least a $200 share price.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 24, 2014 9:31 PM Flag

    Wow!!! Herbalife keeps buying back shares and the short sellers keep shorting more shares. How long can this go on for?. I don't see any 13D filers reducing their positions. And guess what... per WSJ... short interest in HLF just hit another record... as of 9/30/14 - 30.1 mill... as of 9/15/14 - 27.8 mill... 8/29/14 (27.5 mill)... 8/15/14 (26.6 mill). Besides the incremental increases in HLF's short position, the outstanding shares are evaporating due to HLF's robust earnings and ongoing buybacks. I can see the panic buying setting in at any time... exactly how do the shorts plan on covering???

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 24, 2014 9:27 PM Flag

    Could someone explain to me how the FTC could shut Herbalife down and allow Amway, Avon, Tupperware and other legitimate MLMs to operate freely? If not, then I think it's a pretty safe bet HLF will emerge from the FTC investigation relatively unscathed.

  • Reply to

    Challenge to shorts...

    by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 8:04 PM
    lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 11:58 PM Flag

    Really... The FTC claimed that BurnLounge was a pyramid scheme because the company pays more money for recruiting new store owners than for selling music. The lawsuit claimed that BurnLounge ". . . made very little money from the sale of music, and made the vast majority of its money from independent associates (named "moguls") paying between $29.95 and $429.95 a year plus fees, for the right to sell music." Versus a company such as Herbalife, which doesn't make a dime from recruiting.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 11:56 PM Flag

    There's one thing about Ackman's presentation I can't get over... the part where he tries explaining how Herbalife is the best managed pyramid scheme in the history of pyramid schemes... how HLF has managed to have a NYSE listing... how HLF has pulled off the fraud since its founding in 1980... Ackman agrees that HLF has over $5 billion in annual sales... thinks that PriceWaterhouse should be ashamed of themselves for perpeuating the fraud by giving Herbalife a clean audit opinion... etc... etc... is it possible Ackman has lost his mind? If anyone else said these things about a NYSE-listed company, their mental stability would be questioned. I think Ackman has become so obsessed with bringing HLF down, that Ackman has lost touch with reality.

  • Reply to

    share buyback in 3Q

    by aletekk Oct 23, 2014 11:52 PM
    lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 11:54 PM Flag

    I think the Board and large shareholders of HLF are secretly high-fiving each other. A drop in share price makes their ongoing buyback all the more profitable. In 2Q14, HLF repurchased 9.8 mill shs... over about 66 trading days... HLF only had 91.2 mill shs o/s at end of 2Q14; down from 126. 5 mill shs o/s on 12/31/10. The shares are drying up. I see these false rumors as just making the day of reckoning happening sooner & more painfully for the short sellers.

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 11:52 PM Flag

    Per herbalife's 10-k for 2013, HLF fully addresses the issues w/ the depreciating Venezuelan bolívar ... " Net income for year ended December 31, 2013 also included a $15.1 million pre-tax unfavorable impact related to the Venezuela Bolivar devaluation . . ." I'm sure the folks at HLF are smart enough to figure out how to sell in Venezuela profitably; and if not, they'll take the losses going forward like they've been doing. All this talk about an impending meltdown & hidden currency losses is silly.

  • Reply to

    My take on the upcoming earnings report.

    by fluteman_greg Oct 23, 2014 4:55 PM
    lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 8:54 PM Flag

    I don't think there's anything negative coming out about HLF. On 7/28/14, for 3Q14, Herbalife projected adjusted diluted eps of between $1.49 - $1.53. Given that HLF did $1.31/eps in 2Q14, I think this guidance is excellent if they meet it. Given the Company has not publicly altered their guidance; and we're now done w/ 3Q14, I think it's a safe bet HLF will do at least in the ballpark of $1.49/eps diluted for 3Q14. Which would be great and continue this silly single-digit p/e.

  • Reply to

    Challenge to shorts...

    by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 8:04 PM
    lucky_lenny_1964 lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 8:50 PM Flag

    rocko, thanks... that about sums it up

  • lucky_lenny_1964 by lucky_lenny_1964 Oct 23, 2014 8:04 PM Flag

    Challenge to shorts... Please provide one single case history that will cause Herbalife to be shut down for being a pyramid scheme. Don't cite some phantom land scandal where investors were simply defrauded. Please support your charges against HLF with one case of a seemingly legitimate MLM being shut down. You can't. As long as other multi-level marketing companies are able to operate freely; such as Amway, Avon and Tupperware, it seems highly unlikely that HLF would be singled out as having an illegal sales network or pyramid scheme going on. Or if you know the reason for why HLF will be found to be an illegal pyramid scheme, cite the case and source for your assertion.

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