Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NUS 30.78, +0.21, +0.69%) announced that it expects to exceed previous company guidance by posting first-quarter revenue of approximately $395 million, a 9 percent improvement over the prior-year period. Revenue is expected to benefit approximately 5 percent due to foreign currency fluctuations. The company also projects first-quarter earnings of $0.52 to $0.54 when excluding non-cash charges of approximately $33 million related to the recent judgment rendered in a dispute with Japan Customs. When including these charges, first-quarter earnings are expected to be $0.19 to $0.21 per share.
"We are starting the year off strong with record first-quarter revenue, driven largely by impressive gains in our emerging markets," said Truman Hunt, president and chief executive officer. "Our performance this quarter is particularly impressive when taking into consideration last year's first-quarter launch of ageLOC Transformation, which contributed to 23 percent growth. In addition, we estimate the natural disasters in Japan had a negative first-quarter impact of approximately $5 million in revenue and $.01 to earnings per share.
"Our overall geographic diversity contributed to the impressive quarter. Revenue was particularly strong in Mainland China and South Asia/Pacific, which generated local currency growth rates of approximately 45 percent and 30 percent, respectively. South Korea and Europe were also solid performers in the first quarter. We anticipate that our U.S. business will report a decline of approximately 10 percent, partially due to a difficult comparison with the prior-year launch of ageLOC Transformation, while Japan revenue is expected to decline 7 percent, which includes the negative impact from the natural disasters," Hunt continued.
"As the Nu Skin global family rallies around our friends and colleagues in Japan, we have gained an even greater appreciation for the resiliency of the people of this great nation. We have been inspired by our Japanese sales leaders as they courageously respond to this tragedy. As a company, we believe that the natural disasters will slow, but will not derail, our turnaround efforts in Japan.
"We reiterate our 2011 guidance of $1.60 to $1.63 billion in revenue with earnings per share in the $2.25 to $2.35 range, or $1.92 to $2.02 when including charges related to the Japan Customs decision. We estimate the natural disasters will have an annual negative impact on Japan sales of 5 percent, or approximately $25 million. Although the situation is fluid, we project an impact of about $5 million in the first quarter, $10 million in the second quarter, $7 million in the third quarter and about $3 million in the fourth quarter. However, we expect our overall results will benefit from stronger-than-anticipated revenue growth in South Asia/Pacific and China, as well as healthy growth in South Korea and Europe. We also anticipate a stronger product launch in the fourth quarter than we had initially forecast. All things considered, we are committed to delivering on our original guidance. We look forward to providing a full report and update on our overall business in our first-quarter earnings release, now scheduled for May 3," concluded Hunt.
The company will release first-quarter results before the opening of the financial market and hold a call with the investment community on May 3, 2011. At that time, the company will provide additional information on the outlook for the second quarter as well as the remainder of 2011. The call will take place at 11 a.m. (EDT). The event will also be webcast on the company's website at ir.nuskin.com.
About Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc.
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. demonstrates its tradition of innovation through its comprehensive anti-aging product portfolio, independent business opportunity and corporate social responsibility initiatives. The company's scientific leadership in both skin care and nutrition has established Nu Skin as a premier anti-aging company, evidenced in its unique ageLOC(TM) science that addresses aging at its source. The company's anti-aging products feature the new ageLOC suite of products including the ageLOC Transformation daily skin care system, ageLOC Future Serum and the ageLOC Edition Galvanic Spa(R) System II, as well as the ageLOC Vitality nutritional supplement. A global direct selling company, Nu Skin operates in 51 markets worldwide and has approximately 800,000 independent distributors. Nu Skin is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NUS." More information is available at www.nuskin.com .