(By Balachander) Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: NUS) posted double-digit growth in quarterly earnings and revenue, yet the developer of anti-aging personal care products issued a downbeat forecast. Shares retreated 1.33 percent to $42.42 in Wednesday's premarket trading.
Earnings increased to $59.23 million or 97 cents a share for the fourth quarter from $49.52 million or 76 cents per share in the comparable period of last year.
Revenue jumped 19 percent to $588.2 million.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected NUS to earn 94 cents a share on revenue growth of 17 percent.
"Our growth in the fourth quarter was driven by particularly strong trends in several key markets including Japan, South Korea and Mainland China where we continue to see tremendous results from our latest ageLOC products," commented CEO Truman Hunt.
Gross margin was 83.8 percent, consistent with the year-ago quarter. Operating margin shrank to 15.1 percent from 15.3 percent.
Looking ahead for the first quarter, Nu Skin forecasts earnings per share between 75 cents and 77 cents on revenue of $500 to $510 million. Analysts expect earnings 84 cents a share on revenue of $514.2 million.
The company now expects 2013 earnings per share in the range of $3.77 to $3.92 from prior expectations of $3.70 to $3.85. Revenue is now projected to be between $2.30 billion and $2.35 billion from $2.25 billion to $2.30 billion projected earlier.
Analysts expect earnings of $3.97 per share on revenue of $2.33 billion.
Nu Skin said revenue outlook for the first quarter anticipates a 3 percent negative impact from foreign currency and a negative 3 percent to 4 percent negative foreign currency impact for 2013.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $32.36 to $62.01, ended at $42.99 on Tuesday.