Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NUS) reported a record $1.056 billion in sales on $125.3 million in earnings for the fourth quarter. Nu Skin Enterprises saw outstanding growth in greater China as well as robust growth in North Asia, South Asia/Pacific, the Americas and Europe. Compared with the year ago quarter this represents 82% annual sales growth and 112% earnings growth. Adjusted earnings were $2.02 per share, which topped the $1.99 consensus EPS estimate by 2%.
Even so, NUS shares opened lower on the company’s first-quarter guidance. The company currently sees revenue between $650 million and $670 million, representing 20% to 24% top-line growth over Q1 2013. Earnings are expected in a range of $0.90 to $0.94 per share. This is below the Street view of $1.20 EPS on sales of $723.2 million. Management is being cautious with its projections as it works to be compliant with Chinese regulations on direct marketing. It’s also accounting for potential currency headwinds that may weigh on earnings in the near-term.
However, I’m not overly concerned about this. In China, the company has slowed its previously rapid growth in order to ensure that it maintains a good standing in that lucrative market. Nu Skin Enterprises is taking this opportunity to train many of its new sales leaders across the world. So the business is still growing at a brisk, but more sustainable pace. Further, the company has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.345 per share, a 15% increase over last quarter. Shareholders of record on March 14 will receive the dividend on March 26.
Today is a down day for the market overall as it digests the latest geopolitical tremors from Russia and the Ukraine. Nu Skin has gotten caught up in some of this, but for the reasons I just discussed, I still consider it a solid position.