Herbalife controversy rages as stock marches higher

|About: Herbalife Ltd. (HLF)|By:, SA News Editor

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's Michael Swartz is now more comfortable with his Buy recommendation on shares of Herbalife (HLF) following Monday's re-audit news (see here and here).

"Considering PwC's intensive seven-month scrubbing-of-the-books in the face of heightened media/public scrutiny, it could serve as a nail in the coffin for the bear case," Swartz says, adding that although he is "uncertain as to the ultimate size or timing," HLF probably "has flexibility for a buyback in upwards of $1.5B, which could add $1+ to annualized EPS." Price target lifted to $85.

Meanwhile, some commentators were quick to note that the re-audit had little to do with the bear case in the first place. Here's Herb Greenberg: "Let's not forget, the role of the auditor is to determine whether the numbers are audited in accordance with GAAP, not to weigh in on the [pyramid scheme] controversy."

Similarly, here's Jim Cramer: "[I'm] just stating, frankly, the obvious — that the audit wasn't about Ponzi schemes."

HLF +1.8% premarket