The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 25, 2013

Businss in brief 7/26/2013

Ruth Rice

GNC net income rises

PITTSBURGH – GNC Holdings Inc.’s second-quarter net income rose nearly

8 percent as the nutritional supplement retailer sold more products and opened its first store in China as it expands internationally.

The results, released Thursday, beat Wall Street expectations. GNC’s shares rose more than 8 percent and hit an all-time high in morning trading.

GNC sells vitamins, herbal supplements and other health products. It has been rolling out a Gold Card loyalty program to all of its stores and its website.  

CEO Joe Fortunato said the rollout went smoothly and new products are performing above expectations.

The company has also been expanding internationally and it opened its first store in China, in Shanghai, during the quarter. In total, it has opened 151 stores since last year’s second quarter.

During the three months that ended June 30, GNC’s net income rose to

$71.7 million, or 73 cents per share. That compares with net income of $66.7 million, or 62 cents last year. Analysts expected 70 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $676.3 million from $619.1 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $672.3 million.

Hershey posts sweet report

HERSHEY – Hershey’s second-quarter net income increased 18 percent as the company sold more candy and costs for its ingredients dropped.

The maker of Kit Kats, Twizzlers and Hershey’s Kisses raised its outlook for the year and increased its dividend Thursday.

For the period ended June 30, Hershey Co. earned $159.5 million, or 70 cents per share. That compares with $135.7 million, or 59 cents per share, in the same months a year earlier.

Excluding costs related to pensions, acquisitions and other items, earnings rose 6 cents to 72 cents per share, beating Wall Street’s prediction by a penny. Lifting profit were lower ingredients costs, sales volume gains and higher sales of more profitable candy.

Revenue for the Hershey company climbed 7 percent to $1.51 billion from $1.41 billion during the quarter. The performance met Wall Street’s forecast, according to FactSet. The company said it gained market share in many of its big brands. New products in the U.S. and overseas also lifted sales.

The company also raised its earnings forecast slightly, to $3.68 to $3.71 per share.