Earlier today it was noted that, to the surprise of many, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn had refrained from asking questions or dialing in and making sudden outbursts during this morning’s conference call to discuss Herbalife’s fourth quarter earnings. Obviously this came as a shock on account of Ackman and Icahn taking many opportunities in the past to share their feelings re: the company and each other. And while it’s true both men personally held their tongue’s today, according to Pershing Square, one of its analysts had planned to ask questions on Bill’s and the hedge fund’s behalf but was shot down.
Pershing was not allowed to ask a question on the call, said Pershing founder William Ackman, whose December disclosure that his firm had taken a massive short position against Herbalife thrust the nutritional supplement maker into the spotlight recently. Mr. Ackman said that Shane Dinneen, the Pershing analyst who spent a year looking into Herbalife, tried several times to ask a question but was not allowed to. “Our question for Herbalife is: Why have you not answered any of the questions that we submitted?,” Mr. Ackman wrote in an email Wednesday. “[Herbalife President] Des Walsh on national television committed to answer questions that we asked in the interest of transparency…Wouldn’t answering our questions help eliminate any confusion that you believe is in the marketplace?”