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Nutrisystem sees 'strong start to the diet season,' shares soar

Keyur Khamar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Nutrisystem skyrocketed more than 18 percent Tuesday morning, after the seller of a weight loss program reported fourth-quarter earnings and full-year guidance that topped expectations.

"We expect our momentum to continue in 2017 with Nutrisystem having a strong start to diet season coupled with the official launch of the South Beach Diet," CEO Dawn Zier said in the earnings release. Nutrisystem acquired the South Beach Diet brand in December 2015.

The Pennsylvania-based company reported diluted quarterly earnings of 29 cents per share, beating a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of 22 cents. Quarterly sales also topped forecasts, coming in at $108.9 million versus a $100.2 million Reuters estimate.

The company also gave encouraging guidance for 2017. Nutrisystem said it expects earnings to fall within a range of between $1.55 and $1.65 per share, well above a Reuters forecast of $1.40 a share. The firm forecast sales of $630 million to $650 million, topping the $595.6 million Reuters estimate.

With Tuesday's gains, the stock is up more than 32 percent for the year and more than 123 percent over the past 12 months.

Nutrisystem 12-month performance

Source: FactSet