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Vitamin Shoppe shares soar on strong 3Q results

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (AP) -- Shares of Vitamin Shoppe Inc. jumped 12 percent Tuesday, after the company said its third-quarter net income rose 37 percent, helped by a jump in sales at its established stores, contributions from new ones and higher online demand.

For the quarter ended Sept. 29, the North Bergen, N.J.-based nutritional products retailer earned $16.3 million, or 54 cents per share, up from $11.9 million, or 40 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $239 million from $208.9 million.

The results beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 45 cents per share on $234.7 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Vitamin Shoppe said its revenue at stores open at least a year increased 9.6 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue at stores that opened or closed during the year.

Online sales increased 16.9 percent.

Vitamin Shoppe said it expects to open about 52 stores this year and post an about 8 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year. For 2013, the company said it expects to open 57 more new stores and post an increase in revenue at stores open at least a year in the "mid-single digits."

In heavy midday trading, Vitamin Shoppe shares rose $6.20, or 12 percent, to $59.50, after peaking at $60.67 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $34.82 and $61.83.