Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. HLF, +3.70% shares gained in after-hours trading Tuesday, after the company reported a strong earnings beat in its first quarter with a former chief executive back in charge. Herbalife reported fourth-quarter net income of $54.4 million, or 55 cents a share, on net sales of $1.18 billion, down from $1.32 billion in the holiday season a year ago. Adjusted earnings also declined from last year, to 53 cents a share from 57 cents a share, due to a charge from a loss for extinguishment of debt. Both easily beat analysts’ expectations after prolonged struggles for the company during the COVID-19 pandemic, though: Analysts on average were projecting adjusted earnings of 34 cents a share on sales of $1.13 billion, according to FactSet. After a string of disappointing earnings results, Herbalife brought CEO Michael Johnson back three months ago, and withdrew guidance. “We anticipate the energy and engagement being generated at our in-person events will translate to improving metrics in 2023,” Johnson said in Tuesday’s announcement. Executives continued to avoid providing specific guidance in Tuesday’s report, though, stating that “the company will periodically reassess its ability to provide guidance when we believe future performance can be reasonably estimated.” Herbalife shares rose more than 7% in the extended session Tuesday, after closing with a 3.7% gain at $17.36. The stock has declined 58.5% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.03% has dropped 6%.
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