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Health and nutrition company GNC soars on earnings beat

  • The company topped the Street's estimates for both first-quarter earnings and revenue.
  • As of the end of the first quarter of 2017, 5 million consumers had joined the myGNC Rewards Program, GNC said.
  • Shares soared more than 20 percent Tuesday morning.
A customer at a GNC Holdings store in New York.
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer at a GNC Holdings store in New York.

Shares of nutrition retailer GNC soared closed up over 24 percent Tuesday, on the heels of the company reporting quarterly earnings and revenue that beat Street estimates.

GNC announced Tuesday morning it had earnings of 35 cents on sales of $645 million for the first quarter of 2017, topping Thomson Reuters' estimates of 34 cents on revenue of $627 million.

"We're encouraged by positive trends in transactions, and by the early performance of our new loyalty programs," Interim Chief Executive Bob Moran said in a statement, with the company noting that transaction growth continued in the first quarter, up 9.3 percent, which resulted in sequential improvements in same-store sales.

Throughout 2017, GNC said it will begin leveraging information from its loyalty program, which now boasts more than 5 million users, to "better reach and more cost effectively speak to its customers."

Even with Tuesday's major gains, shares of GNC are down more than 70 percent over the past 12 months and have fallen about 18 percent year-to-date. Shares closed on Tuesday at $9.03 per share.

GNC 12-month performance

Source: FactSet

— CNBC's Gina Francolla contributed to this report.