As those of you who keep close tabs on the life and times of Bill Ackman know, the last 14 months have not gone so well for the Pershing Square founder. Following a banner 2014, his hedge fund lost 20% last year and is down 17% so far in 2016. He lost somewhere in the ballpark of $321 million on Monday. Mike Bloomberg still hasn't announced his campaign for president. So when the news emerged today that his arch nemesis, Herbalife Ltd, had "overstated the growth of its customer and distributor base," it should've been a nice little bright spot in the sea of darkness and hell that has been Ackman's professional life of late. Something to put just the slightest spring in his step. A little tiny thing to make him smile. But apparently some people won't let him have this minor-est victory before the inevitable onslaught of more sh*tty news.
While the mistake is embarrassing, and will raise suspicions among investors who already are skeptical of the company, the numbers themselves aren’t particularly problematic for the company, said Ken Shea, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. The errors also don’t affect the company’s historical financial statements. “The meaningful cloud over this company is the one that Ackman’s charging them with, and this doesn’t appear to be connected,” he said. “I see today’s announcement as separate from that.”