Life Time Fitness 3Q profit up on new members

CHANHASSEN, Minn. -- Life Time Fitness Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 19 percent as more people joined its gyms and spent more money at them.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Chanhassen, Minn.-based company earned $32.1 million, or 77 cents per share, up from $27 million, or 66 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 11 percent to $294.9 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 77 cents per share on $296.9 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Life Time's revenue from membership dues increased 9.4 percent to $187.6 million, while revenue spent in its centers rose 12 percent to $90.5 million.

The company's total number of memberships grew 6.4 percent to 695,271 as of Sept. 30. Excluding memberships acquired as part of its purchase of Lifestyle Family Fitness, the company's total number of memberships increased 3 percent.

Revenue at Life Time's centers open at least 13 months increased 4.1 percent. The metric is a key measure of a company's health, because it excludes revenue at locations that recently opened or closed.

Life Time also narrowed its previously predicted full-year earnings and revenue estimates.

The company now expects to post a profit of $2.73 to $2.76 per share. The forecast was $2.70 to $2.76 per share. Analysts expect a profit of $2.77 per share.

Revenue is now expected to be between $1.13 billion to $1.14 billion. The company previously estimated $1.12 billion to $1.14 billion, and analysts expect $1.13 billion.

Life Time shares fell $1.60, or 3.5 percent, to $43.75 in afternoon trading.