Nu Skin Enterprises Increases 2013 Guidance And Reports Record Fourth-Quarter And 2012 Results
PROVO, Utah, Feb. 6, 2013 Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS) today announced record fourth-quarter results with revenue of $588.2 million, a 19 percent improvement over the prior-year period. Revenue was not materially impacted by foreign currency fluctuations. Earnings per share for the quarter were $0.97, a 27 percent year-over-year improvement. Additionally, the company announced that it is increasing its full-year 2013 revenue guidance by $50 million to $2.30 to $2.35 billion. The company expects 2013 earnings per share to be in the range of $3.77 to $3.92 with an anticipated negative foreign currency impact of 3 to 4 percent.
The company reported full year 2012 revenue of $2.17 billion, a 24 percent year-over-year improvement. Annual revenue was negatively impacted 1 percent by foreign currency fluctuations. Earnings per share for the year were $3.52, a 48 percent increase over 2011, or 31 percent when excluding charges related to a Japan customs case in the prior year.
We are pleased with our solid fourth-quarter results and believe 2013 will be another record year as we launch a new wave of compelling anti-aging products and project strong performances around the world, said Truman Hunt, president and chief executive officer. 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. We expect the upcoming launch of our ageLOC weight-management system to drive significant growth in the back-half of the year.
North Asia. Fourth-quarter revenue in North Asia was $250.2 million, compared to $204.3 million for the same period in 2011. The region's results were negatively impacted approximately 1 percent by foreign currency fluctuations. Japan local-currency revenue improved 26 percent while South Korea experienced local-currency revenue growth of 19 percent. The number of sales leaders in the region was up 14 percent while the number of actives improved 3 percent.
Greater China. In Greater China, fourth-quarter revenue increased 28 percent to $141.7 million, compared to $110.6 million in the prior-year period. Foreign currency fluctuations had a positive impact of 3 percent in the region. The sales leader count in the region improved 57 percent, while the number of actives increased 51 percent compared to the prior-year.
South Asia/Pacific. Revenue in South Asia/Pacific was $63.5 million, a 3 percent decline compared to the prior year. Sales in the quarter were positively impacted 4 percent by foreign currency fluctuations. The region's fourth-quarter sales leaders declined 11 percent while actives decreased 1 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
Americas. Revenue in the Americas improved 4 percent to $80.1 million, compared to $76.9 million in the prior-year period. Sales in the U.S. increased 18 percent when excluding $12.5 million of convention sales to non-U.S. distributors in the fourth quarter of 2011. The number of sales leaders improved 19 percent while the number of actives decreased 1 percent compared to the prior year.
Europe. Revenue in Europe was $52.8 million, a 38 percent improvement over the prior-year period. Results in the region were negatively impacted 6 percent by foreign currency fluctuations. Sales leaders and actives in Europe increased 21 and 9 percent, respectively, compared to the prior year.
The company's operating margin was 15.1 percent for the quarter, compared to 15.3 percent in the prior year. Operating margin for the year was 15.7 percent compared to 13.4 percent in 2011, or 15.3 percent when excluding charges related to a Japan customs case in the prior year. Gross margin during the quarter was 83.8 percent, consistent with the prior year. Selling expenses, as a percent of revenue, were 45.0 percent in the fourth quarter, representing a 170 basis-point increase. The increase was driven by accelerated sales growth in many markets, due in part to successful product launches and a higher number of sales leaders qualifying for promotional incentives. General and administrative expenses, as a percent of revenue, were 23.8 percent, improving 150 basis-points over the prior year. Other income and expenses reflected a gain of $2.9 million.
The company's income tax rate for the quarter was 35.5 percent compared to 34.9 percent in the prior-year period. The company's cash and short-term investment position at the end of the quarter was $333.4 million. Dividend payments during the quarter were $11.7 million, and the company repurchased $21.9 million of its outstanding shares. During 2012 the company repurchased approximately $200 million of its outstanding shares.
We expect 2013 will be another record year with healthy trends in all of our regions and a record launch of our new ageLOC weight management system, which we plan to introduce through a global limited time offer in the fall, said Hunt.
We also recently announced plans to increase our 2013 dividends by 50 percent, which represents a 140 percent increase in dividends over the past three years. With our strong performance and increasing cash flow, we have the financial flexibility to further increase our dividends, repurchase additional shares and continue to invest in important business initiatives to sustain growth, Hunt concluded.
Based on the strength of our business and the growth of our global sales force, we are raising our expectations for 2013, said Ritch Wood, chief financial officer. We expect first-quarter 2013 revenue to be $500 to $510 million, and are increasing our annual revenue guidance to $2.30 to $2.35 billion. First-quarter revenue guidance anticipates a 3 percent negative impact from foreign currency and annual guidance anticipates a negative 3 to 4 percent negative foreign currency impact. We expect earnings per share to be $0.75 to $0.77 for the first quarter, and $3.77 to $3.92 for the year.
The company's management will host a webcast with the investment community on Feb. 6, 2013, at noon EST. Those wishing to access the webcast, as well as the financial information presented during the call, can visit the Investor Relations page on Nu Skin Enterprises' website, https://ir.nuskin.com. An archive of the webcast will be available at this same URL through Feb. 22, 2013.
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. The company's anti-aging products feature the new ageLOC® suite of products including the ageLOC® R2 nutritional supplement, ageLOC® Galvanic Spa System and ageLOC® Galvanic Body Spa™, as well as the ageLOC® Transformation daily skin care system. A global direct selling company, Nu Skin operates in 53 markets worldwide and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NUS. More information is available at https://www.nuskin.com.
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