Is Nu Skin Poised To Revive Faster Earnings Growth?


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In November 2008, IBD reported thatNu Skin Enterprises ( NUS ) would launch an anti-aging product in early 2009.

At that time, CEO Truman Hunt told IBD that this represented "a platform change for us. The market is not yet focused on where we are."

He was right. The stock rose nearly sevenfold in roughly three years.

Nu Skin's earnings jumped 32% in 2009 and 40%, 22% and 37% in the following years. Sales rose 7%, 15%, 13% and 24% in the same periods.

The Street expects EPS to grow 14% this year and 13% in 2014.

That isn't bad growth, and the stock does offer a dividend yielding 2.4% on an annualized basis. But it's a slowdown.

Whether Nu Skin can refire the fast growth could be partly dependent on a new product line.

This year the direct seller of anti-aging products and nutritional supplements will launch a weight-loss system.

In a conference call in February, Hunt said that the weight-loss system is "arguably the largest product category we have focused on in many years."

While weight-loss is a competitive space, Nu Skin's customer base for anti-aging products could offer some easy cross-selling.

Another key card is China. The company said in a news release Friday that it's aiming for $1 billion in China sales in 2014. Hunt said the goal was set in 2010 and at that time it "seemed like an aspirational target." Hunt said the company now believes the goal is achievable.

In 2012, China sales were $570.7 million, up 67% from 2011.

Although Nu Skin is based in Utah, the U.S. provided only 11% of sales last year. China was 26% and North Asia 37%. North Asia includes South Korea and Japan.

Nu Skin will report Q1 results before the open May 2.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance Investing Ideas
Referenced Stocks: NUS

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