Los Angeles Business Journal

Herbalife Finishes Strong in Fourth Quarter

By Deborah Crowe Originally published February 22, 2012 at 10:39 a.m., updated February 22, 2012 at 3:27 p.m.

Herbalife Ltd. shares gained 7 percent on Wednesday after the nutritional supplement company reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results, driven by double-digit sales volume growth around the world.

The Los Angeles company late Tuesday reported net income of more than $105 million (86 cents a share), compared with $86.3 million (69 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 20 percent to nearly $885 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average had expected the company to have net income of 73 cents a share on revenue of less than $857 million.

Herbalife, which sells its products via a network of independent distributors, said sales in North America grew 18 percent to nearly $166 million. Revenue in the Asia Pacific rose 31 percent to $247 million. Revenue from South and Central America rose 28 percent to more than $155 million.

“The momentum in our business continued throughout 2011 as we set new records in net sales, earnings per share, and free cash flow,” said Chief Executive Michael Johnson in a statement.

For the full year, Herbalife's profit jumped 38 percent to $3.30 a share, with revenue up 26 percent to $3.54 billion. In guidance for the current year, the company now expects a net income of $3.40 to $3.60 a share on revenue growth of 9 to 11 percent. It earlier forecast net income of $3.25 to $3.45 a share on revenue growth of 8 to 10 percent.

Shares closed up $4.35, or 7 percent, to $66.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.