Reuters

(Reuters)

Herbalife Shares Volatile Amid Conflicting FTC Settlement Reports

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Shares of Herbalife Ltd jumped as much as 8.5 percent amid conflicting reports on whether the company had reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to settle a probe into whether it runs a pyramid scheme.

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The nutritional supplements maker's stock soared after the New York Post said a settlement was imminent but came off its highs after CNBC, citing a source, reported that no settlement was near.

The stock was up 5.6 percent at $62.77 in midday trading on Tuesday.

Herbalife has come under fire from billionaire investor William Ackman, who has accused the company of running a pyramid scheme, in which members make more money through recruitment than selling the company's products.

The New York Post, citing sources, said Herbalife had agreed to pay a "hefty fine" as part of a preliminary agreement with the FTC. The report said an announcement of a settlement could come as soon as Tuesday. (http://nyp.st/1RnwPOq)

CNBC's Scott Wapner, however, tweeted later that "no settlement is imminent betweenHerbalife and the FTC."

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Herbalife said earlier this month that it was in advanced talks with the FTC over a settlement and estimated it could pay $200 million in fines.

The FTC declined to comment, while Herbalife could not be immediately reached.

Ackman's Pershing Square Capital, which has held a large short position in Herbalife since 2012, had no immediate comment. (Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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