Bill Ackman bails on his signature short trade

CNBC reports that Bill Ackman is out of Herbalife

Four years ago, Bill Ackman was the king of wall street. Forbes called him Baby Buffett after a string of great years culminating in a 40.4% return in 2014, he was a superstar.

It’s all come crashing down.

In 2015, he lost 20.5%, in 2016 he lost 13.5% and last year he lost 4% — all in a raging bull market.

At the Sohn conference last May, he tried to resurrect his reputation with a call to buy the Howard Hughes Corp. The investment is up just 2% since compared to 13% for the S&P 500.

His Waterloo was a bet against Herbalife. It’s a slimy corporation, no doubt, and he tried to expose it by exploiting his celebrity. He even financed a film about Herbalife.

But he ran into an even bigger titan — Carl Ichan — who took the other side of the Herbalife bet and swamped him.

In the fall, CNBC reported, he got out an outright short and bought puts. Now, he’s thrown in the towel.

The assets in his fund fell to $8.77B at the end of 2017 compared to $18.3B in 2015.

In a bit of good news, he unveiled he was buying Nike late last year and the stock has been red hot.

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