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UPDATE 1-Nu Skin ups outlook on strong demand for anti-ageing products in Asia

Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 4:38 PM ET

Asia@

* Third-quarter EPS $0.87 vs est $0.77

* Third-quarter revenue rises 23 pct to $526.2 mln

* Raises FY 2012 earnings per share view to $3.33-$3.37

* Raises FY 2012 revenue view to $2.10 bln-$2.11 bln

* Sales in greater China rises 64 pct

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Nu Skin Enterprises Inc raised its full-year forecast for the sixth time this year, encouraged by strong demand for its new anti-ageing and body spa products under the ageLOC brand.

Nu Skin shares rose 11 percent to $46.70 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning.

Fourth-quarter revenue is now likely to be between $520 million and $530 million, based on the positive responses in Japan, Korea, the United States and Europe, the company said.

``The third quarter result and fourth quarter guidance are better-than-anticipated, indicating business momentum remains solid driven by innovation from the ageLOC product family,'' Stifel Nicolaus analysts led by Mark Astrachan wrote in a note to clients.

The company expects sales in Japan to grow about 15 percent in the quarter and demand in South Korea to remain strong. It also said it would enter the weight management category in 2013, taking on companies such as Weight Watchers International Inc .

The Provo, Utah-based company said last month it would triple the number of stores and sales support centers in China by 2017, after the government there issued it new direct selling licenses in several provinces.

In contrast, peer Herbalife Ltd expressed caution on Monday about its growth prospects in the country, citing a slowdown in local consumption.

In August, Nu Skin's China business came under attack from short-seller Andrew Left's Citron Research. Citron said Nu Skin's direct-selling business in China was actually ``pyramid-selling'' and was illegal under Chinese law.

The company however defended its China operations, saying they were in compliance with local regulations and noted that the government had issued it new direct selling licenses in several territories over the past year.

Nu Skin, which also sells nutritional supplements under the Pharmanex brand, raised its 2012 per-share earnings forecast to between $3.33 and $3.37 from a range of $3.16 to $3.24. Analysts were looking for $3.25 on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It also raised its revenue forecast to between $2.10 billion and $2.11 billion from $2.00 billion to $2.03 billion. Wall Street had estimated it at $2.03 billion.

Net profit for the third quarter rose to $54.2 million, or 87 cents per share, from $46.8 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 23 percent to $526.2 million. Sales in Greater China grew 64 percent to $136.6 million in the quarter.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 77 cents per share on revenue of $480.7 million.

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