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Factors to Know Ahead of Herbalife's (HLF) Q4 Earnings

Zacks Equity Research

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. HLF is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2018 results on Feb 19. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 12.1%. Moreover, it posted a trailing four-quarter average beat of 23.8%. Let’s see what’s in store for Herbalife this time around.

How are Estimates Faring?

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at 61 cents, reflecting a 6.2% decline from 65 cents per share registered in the year-ago quarter. Notably, the consensus mark remained stable over the past 30 days. For revenues, the consensus estimate stands at $1,195 million, mirroring 9.3% growth from the year-ago quarter’s figure.

Herbalife LTD. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Herbalife LTD. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Herbalife LTD. Quote

Factors Working in Herbalife’s Favor

Improving volume points have been aiding the company’s growth. Notably, the recently unveiled preliminary volume point outcome for the fourth quarter of 2018 depicts year-over-year growth of 11.6%. On adjusting for various products in Mexico, North America, and South & Central America, worldwide volumes is likely to showcase a 10.8% rise. Clearly, management’s efforts to keep pace with consumers’ preferences and effective direct-selling strategy are paying off and bode well for the impending quarterly performance.

Herbalife’s volume growth is also aided by a strong product portfolio, which includes weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports and fitness products. Meanwhile, the company continues to expand product portfolio for enabling distributors to retain old customers and draw new ones. Incidentally, the company introduced 58 products across 51 countries in the third quarter. Further, the company launched a High Protein Iced Coffee, which is expected to be a healthier alternative for traditional coffee. Herbalife is also on track to launch new flavors for existing brands, considering local tastes and preferences.

Apart from these, Herbalife gains from a strong geographic presence, with its products accessible in more than 94 countries worldwide. Also, the company is benefiting from its direct-selling network. Management believes that offering one-on-one personalised services acts as a major sales driver in case of nutritional products, especially products related to weight-management. These factors make us hopeful about the upcoming results.

Will Currency Fluctuations Hurt Herbalife?

Herbalife’s significant global presence exposes the company to adverse currency movements. Incidentally, currency headwinds weighed on the gross margin in the third quarter of 2018. Management expects headwinds to persist and dent the company’s performance in the fourth quarter. Further, the company is exposed to stiff competition from other retailers as well as distributors of weight management and nutritional products. These factors remain a threat to Herbalife’s performance in the upcoming release.

What Does the Zacks Model Say?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Herbalife is likely to beat estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both — a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and a positive Earnings ESP — for this to happen. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Though Herbalife has a Zacks Rank #3, its Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks With Favorable Combination

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post earnings beat.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. PCRX has an Earnings ESP of +32.24% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc JAZZ has an Earnings ESP of +4.08% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Dova Pharmaceuticals, Inc. DOVA has an Earnings ESP of +2.28% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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