The soap opera that just won’t end… won’t end. After last week’s collapse in the price of Nuskin, which dragged down the price of Herbalife, there were some rumors that Ackman’s calls for a collapse of one of the best performing stocks of 2013 may finally come true. Not so if Barclays has anything to say about it. Moments ago the British bank reported that it is raising its price target on HLF from $78 to $94, and anticipates some 34% upside from current levels.
From the just released report:
Our new EPS also reflects a large stock buyback. HLF has said it was comfortable with leverage of 2.5x, which would permit it to repurchase stock worth about $1.5bn ($1.2bn from new debt, $0.3bn from cash). HLF has many ways to execute a buyback: dutch tender, ASR, or enhanced open market purchases, but right now it is in a blackout period following YE13. We assume the stock is repurchased at prices of $80 (1Q14) and $85 (2Q14), leading to 18.4mn shares being retired. Our price target rises to $94 from $78, which represents 15.0x our new FY14 EPS of $6.27 vs 13.8x our old $5.65. We maintain our OW rating.
Cue some more theta.