PROVO, Utah, Feb 15, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATR), a leading manufacturer and marketer of encapsulated herbs and vitamins, today reported record sales revenue and strong gains in operating and net income for both the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2004.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2004, net sales revenue increased to $331.1 million, compared with $260.2 million in the same period of 2003, an increase of 27.3 percent. Operating income advanced 181.0 percent, to $21.7 million, from $7.7 million the previous year. Net income totaled $17.1 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2004 compared to $5.1 million, or $0.36 per diluted share for the same period in the prior year.
For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2004, net sales revenues increased to $88.3 million, compared with $68.8 million in the same period in the prior year, a 28.3 percent increase. Operating income totaled $6.5 million, compared with $3.8 million in the same period in the prior year, a 70.6 percent increase. Net income increased to $4.7 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, from $2.9 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, increases of 58.9 and 43.3 percent, respectively, over the same period in the prior year. Per share calculations are based on 10.9 percent more weighted average diluted shares outstanding in the 2004 fourth quarter and 8.0 percent more diluted shares for the full year.
Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses in line with the Company's objectives continued to decline as a percentage of net sales revenues. For the fourth quarter, SG&A totaled 33.4 as a percent of net sales revenues, compared with 39.6 percent a year ago, and for the year ended December 31, 2004 it totaled 35.9 percent, compared to 41.0 percent for the same period in the prior year. The Company's objective is to continue to reduce SG&A as a percentage of net sales revenues.
"Nature's Sunshine made considerable progress in 2004," said Douglas Faggioli, President and CEO. "In addition to our success in continuing to reduce expenses, we achieved a 7.7 percent increase in United States net sales revenue in the fourth quarter, the first year over year quarterly gain in some time. This was accomplished while maintaining strong momentum in our international operation as well as in Synergy Worldwide. New products and new marketing initiatives clearly are beginning to pay off. Our Dutch auction tender offer in November was very successful. Overall we believe the outlook for the Company's growth continues to be positive."
Synergy Worldwide, which operates principally in Asia, continued to experience rapid sales revenue growth. Fourth quarter net sales revenue increased 124.0 percent, to $23.5 million compared with $10.5 million during the same period of the prior year. Net sales revenue for the twelve months ended December 31, 2004, totaled $83.6 million compared with $26.9 million for 2003, an increase of 210.5 percent.
United States, net sales revenue for the fourth quarter, which includes the Dominican Republic, increased 7.7 percent to $36.8 million, compared to $34.2 million in the same period of the prior year. The Company attributed the 2004 fourth quarter improvement to new products, such as Thai-Go, and new marketing initiatives, particularly its Habit of Health(TM) 90-Day Challenge program. Domestic sales revenue for the full year totaled $142.8 million, compared with $143.6 million in 2003.
International net sales revenue for the fourth quarter totaled $28.0 million, compared to $24.1 million, a 15.9 percent increase, and for the year totaled $104.6 million, compared with $89.6 million the prior year, an increase of 16.7 percent. Fifteen countries posted higher sales revenue, most noticeably Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Israel, Japan, Mexico, and Russia.
As previously disclosed, on November 30, 2004 the Company announced that it had purchased 1,000,000 shares of common stock at a purchase price of $16.50 per share, pursuant to a Dutch auction tender offer. The proration factor for the tender offer was approximately 67.42 percent.
As of December 31, 2004, working capital totaled $40.7 million, cash and cash equivalents and investments amounted to $44.0 million, total liabilities were approximately $53.9 million and shareholders' equity increased to $91.2 million.
Nature's Sunshine had approximately 665,000 Distributors worldwide at December 31, 2004, compared to 562,000 a year earlier. The numbers of Managers worldwide on the same dates were approximately 18,350 and 15,150, respectively.
About Nature's Sunshine
Nature's Sunshine Products manufactures and markets through direct sales encapsulated and tableted herbal products, high quality natural vitamins, and other complementary products. In addition to the United States, the Company has operations in Japan, Mexico, Central America, South Korea, Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Colombia, Brazil, Thailand, Israel, Singapore and Taiwan. The Company also has exclusive distribution agreements with selected companies in Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Norway, and the Russian Federation.
Statements in this press release concerning the Company's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses or other financial items, and product line growth, together with other statements that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under Federal Securities Laws. "Forward-looking statements" are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in such statements. Such risks, uncertainties, and factors include, but are not limited to, foreign business risks, industry cyclicality, fluctuations in customer demand and order pattern, changes in pricing and general economic conditions, as well as other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.