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Blyth lowers full-year forecast; shares fall

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) -- Blyth Inc.'s shares sank Wednesday after the direct marketing company reported a 65 percent drop in first-quarter net income and lowered its full-year outlook.

The company, based in Greenwich, Conn., sells candles, home accessories and weight-loss products through home parties and other methods.

Blyth earned $2.6 million, or 16 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That's down from $7.5 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. The company earned 53 cents per share last year after adjusting for a number of one-time items.

The company's net revenue fell 14 percent to $233.1 million from $270.2 million. The decline was due to lower revenue from its ViSalus business, which includes energy drinks and nutritional products, and its PartyLite home accent business. Meanwhile, revenue from its kitchen gadget and other home product unit, Miles Kimball, improved.

Blyth also said that it expects to earn between $1.30 and $1.45 per share for the year, down from its previous forecast of earnings between $1.70 and $1.85 per share. The company said it made the move based on lower ViSalus sales projections.

Shares of Blyth fell $2.49, a nearly 15 percent drop, to $14.50 by early afternoon. The company's stock price has been falling since the end of last summer and is currently trading at the lower end of its 52-week trading range of $12.66 to $46.15.