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GNC plummets on Q1 profit miss

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GNC shares plunged nearly 30 percent on Thursday after the company reported first quarter earnings below analysts' forecasts and warned full year profits would also be lower than expected.   

The health and wellness retailer reported adjusted first quarter earnings of 69 cents per share on revenue of about $669 million. Analysts had expected GNC to report earnings of about 76 cents per share on $668 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Same-store sales in U.S. company-owned stores and online decreased about 3 percent in the first quarter, while same-store sales at franchise locations dropped near 6 percent. The company also said it would sell 84 locations to Sun Holdings, a GNC franchisee partner.

Chief Executive Mike Archbold said he is unhappy with the company's progress and in part blamed a decline in vitamin sales.

"We are not pleased with the reported results for the quarter and find them unacceptable," Archbold said in the company's quarterly release. "The turnaround is taking longer than expected and the progress is insufficient." 

Archbold also cited "challenges" in the vitamin business. He said "more than offset by challenges in the vitamin business, driven by the decline in Vitapak sales, and pricing pressure created by our clearing of expiring product." 

GNC said it now expects earnings for the year of $2.80 to $2.90 a share, excluding one-time items, compared with the previous range of $3.15 to $3.35.

GNC shares have lost nearly 16 percent year-to-date.