1. Ramey's Return
Welcome back Dumbest fans to the latest installment of "As Tim Ramey Turns."
Previously on the D.A. Davidson analyst's soap opera-like coverage of Herbalife (HLF - Get Report), Ramey upgraded the embattled supplement seller from neutral to buy. This was in April when Tim "reestablished" his price target to $78 from $38. That shocking move came a mere three days following the longtime Herbalife bull's decision to downgrade the stock over concerns about the company's exposure to the KPMG insider trading scandal.
Said Tim at the time: "Chalk it up to the heat of battle. These are unique circumstances."Yes, Tim, we know how things can get heated. And we also know how hot you are for Herbalife. (In case you need a quick plot recap, it all started when hedge fund manager Bill Ackman announced he was dumping the stock last year. Then Bill's rival Dan Loeb swooped in as a love interest -- and boy, did he lovingly squeeze the shares -- only to leave it soon after. The equity in distress was then gathered into the waiting arms of a wealthy older man, billionaire Carl Icahn, who swore to himself he would crush Ackman for his ungentlemanly conduct.) True. Things have cooled down since Ramey's April reversal with the stock settling in the mid $40s. Of course, this standoff is to be expected in a stock with nearly half its shares sold short. Hey, all shows get into a rut! That's why they bring in new characters. Still, Ramey spiced things up this week - or at least tried to - when he restated on Wednesday that Herbalife is his "Single Best Idea for 2013". "The bear case is in tatters. From day one, we dismissed Pershing Square's 300+ page assault as not particularly interesting. And for seven or so slides, we believe Ackman clearly distorted facts that Pershing Square knew, or should have known, were materially false," wrote Ramey, who slapped a $180, five-year price target on the stock. "We think this was a bald-faced attempt to destroy a company and its stock for profit. Nothing new about that. Why the media and investors continue to give it any credence is a mystery." Excuse us, Tim! Speaking on behalf of the media, we think this a gripping yarn, complete with insider trading and a fierce hedge fund battle. It has everything a Wall Street reporter could want, which is why we never miss a chapter. More importantly, after they cancelled "One Life to Live" last year, we need to watch something! -- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York Follow @5gsonthestreet