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NutriSystem Earnings Up 70%, but Forecast Is Disappointing


Weight loss product maker NutriSystem said Tuesday its second-quarter earnings leaped nearly 70% to beat Wall Street's estimates, as strong sales to men and seniors contributed to solid core growth.

Earnings for the quarter were $33.5 million, or 96 cents per share, compared to $19.8 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue was $213.6 million, an increase of 61% from $132.6 million in the comparable period in 2006.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, projected a profit of 85 cents a share on revenue of $194 million.

"We were pleased with the solid growth in our core women's market and continued strength in revenue coming from our ex-customers," said President and Chief Executive Michael J. Hagan. "In addition, the growth in the men's and senior's market segments for the second quarter exceeded our expectations."

However, the company issued third-quarter guidance below the Wall Street consensus estimate, sending shares down 13% in after hours trading.

For the third quarter, the company said it expects to earn 77 cents to 82 cents per share on revenue between $200 and $208 million. Analysts currently predict a third-quarter profit of 89 cents a share on revenue of $209.4 million, according to Thomson Financial.

The company raised its 2007 guidance to a range of $3.46 to $3.52 per share in earnings on revenue between $810 million and $820 million. Analysts, on average, forecast a full-year profit of $3.43 per share on revenue of $799.3 million.

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