Shares of Herbalife Ltd., which had fallen nearly 40 percent recently, made a comeback Wednesday as investors digested the company’s response to the latest criticisms of its multilevel marketing business model.

The Los Angeles nutritional supplement company’s stock, which fell to $26.06 before Tuesday’s Christmas holiday, closed up $1.35, or more than 5 percent, to $27.41 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hedge fund manager William Ackman on Dec. 19 disclosed that he had taken a short position on the company's stock after his own investigation proved to him that Herbalife misrepresented sales figures and was operating as an unsustainable pyramid scheme. The company has faced that criticism in the past and adopted reforms.

Herbalife on Monday announced it hired Moelis & Co. as its strategic adviser and scheduled a Jan. 10 analyst and investor meeting. Chief Executive Michael Johnson in media interviews also has vigorously defended the company’s treatment of its global network of independent distributors and other practices.

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