Herbalife reports record earnings, strong sales

Herbalife reports record earnings, strong sales

First quarter net sales hit $1.3 billion, up 12 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) reported first quarter net sales of $1.3 billion, reflecting an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period in 2013 on volume point growth of 9 percent. Adjusted net income for the quarter was $151.1 million, or $1.50 per diluted share, as compared to 2013 first quarter adjusted net income of $137.4 million, or $1.27 per diluted share. GAAP net income for the quarter was $74.6 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, compared to $118.9 million, or $1.10 per diluted share for the same period in 2013, primarily due to a foreign exchange loss for Venezuela during the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

"We continue to achieve record earnings, strong sales growth and enhanced profitability," said Michael O. Johnson, Herbalife's chairman and CEO. “Our performance reflects the demand for our exceptional products, as well as the hard work of our independent members who continue to cultivate and grow their base of satisfied customers worldwide. In addition, we are pleased to raise our expectations for the balance of 2014. This reflects our confidence that Herbalife is well-positioned to continue to grow and play an increasingly important role in improving nutrition and reducing obesity around the world.”

For the quarter ended March 31, 2014, the company generated cash flow from operations of $190.6 million, an increase of 39 percent compared to 2013; paid cash dividends of $30.4 million; invested $49.7 million in capital expenditures; and spent $685.8 million for approximately 9.9 million outstanding common shares under our prepaid forward share repurchase agreement. As of April 25, 2014, the company has spent $255 million during the month of April to repurchase approximately 4.5 million outstanding common shares under our existing repurchase program and pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.

As of March 31, 2014, we moved to the SICAD I rate of 10.7 Venezuelan bolivar per U.S. dollar for US GAAP remeasurement purposes. This change impacted our 2014 Q1 reported results by $89.3 million before tax and we have normalized this impact out of our adjusted results.

2014 second quarter and full year guidance
Forward guidance excludes the impact of expenses (primarily for legal and advisory services) relating to the company's response to information put into the marketplace by a short seller, which the company believes to be inaccurate and misleading, expenses related to a FTC inquiry, and the impact of non-cash interest costs associated with the company’s Convertible Notes. Forward guidance is based on the average daily exchange rates of the first two weeks of April. Included in the guidance is the use of the GAAP rate for Venezuela of 10.7 to 1 for the balance of the year and excludes the potential impact of future devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar and future repatriation, if any, of existing cash balances in Venezuela.

Board of directors accelerates cash returns to shareholders
The company’s board of directors also announced today that, as part of its goal to accelerate cash returns to shareholders, it has approved terminating the company’s quarterly cash dividend and instead utilizing the cash to repurchase additional shares of the company’s outstanding common stock during the second quarter of 2014.

The company now expects to repurchase a total of $581 million of its outstanding common stock during the second quarter of 2014 as part of its previously announced $1.5 billion share repurchase program. The $581 million is comprised of the approximately $315 million expected to be purchased in April as part of a 10b5-1 trading plan ($255 million already completed as of Friday, April 25); plus the $50 million included in previous guidance and $216 million that otherwise was expected to be returned to shareholders in the form of quarterly cash dividends over the next eight quarters.

Mr. Johnson stated, “Our strong sustained financial performance and the current market valuation of our shares make repurchasing stock the most attractive method of returning capital to shareholders and reflects our continued commitment to creating long-term value for our shareholders.”

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