Herbalife continues to gain momentum following its record first quarter earnings. The global nutrition company saw shares fall 43 percent in December after hedge fund manager Bill Ackman alleged that Herbalife operates a pyramid scheme and announced a $1 billion short position in the company. Last week, Herbalife shares climbed above the price they brought before Ackman’s allegations.
One of Herbalife’s strongest supporters has been investor Carl Icahn, who answered Ackman’s accusations by buying up more than 16 percent of the company’s stock. Icahn also defended Herbalife’s business model against Ackman in person during a television program where the two investors debated the charges. In addition, Herbalife’s shareholders recently approved two Icahn nominees to its board of directors. The company has seen a total stock gain of more than 20 percent since April 18.
As its earnings increase, Herbalife is also receiving international recognition for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. The company’s TEAM Herbalife and Casa Herbalife initiatives were included in the 2012 list of the “Best Social Projects of Russia,” a program that brings the state, society, and private sector together to address social policy reform. The program has the backing of several organizations, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Agency for Strategic Initiatives and World Wildlife Fund.
Team Herbalife promotes a healthy, active lifestyle by encouraging individuals to engage in sports and fitness on the local level. Herbalife reports that over 4,000 distributors and customers across more than 30 cities took part in activities such as Ski Russia and the White Nights Marathon in St. Petersburg as part of the program. The Herbalife Family Foundation’s Casa Herbalife program, which aims to improve the nutrition of vulnerable children, supported children’s charities in Russia and mobilized distributors to volunteer at various charities throughout the country.