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December 01, 2017

News in Brief

News in Brief, December 2017



Click here to order the December 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Amway Launches Its First Car Air Treatment Product

Ada, Michigan-based Amway, the largest direct selling company in the world, introduced Atmosphere Drive, an air treatment system designed to provide clean, safe air inside your vehicle, which can be up to 15 times more polluted than the air outdoors, according to a study by the British Environmental Audit Committee.

Atmosphere Drive is the first generation of car air treatment systems from Amway, makers of the Atmosphere Air Treatment System, which is the world’s largest-selling home air treatment product based on a Verify Markets study of 2015 global sales revenue.

“The Atmosphere Drive system leverages the proven Atmosphere brand filtration technology to provide consumers with fresher, safer air inside their vehicles,” said Bill Luke, Director of Durables R&D. “Using its unique three-in-one filter, the unit maintains a high level of industry performance by effectively removing airborne particles in your vehicle down to 0.015 microns.”

The three-in-one filtration technology first captures large contaminants such as hair and dust. Then, like a HEPA filter, the second stage removes small particles and smoke. This helps with PM2.5 and other major airborne contaminants. Another benefit of the three-in-one filtration is the reduction of odors inside the vehicle.


Princess House Recognized Among Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts

Princess House, a company that sells housewares and home décor based in Taunton, Massachusetts, has been recognized as one of the top 100 women-led businesses in its state. The annual list compiled by the Commonwealth Institute, in partnership with The Boston Globe, ranked Princess House No. 27 for its leadership in diversity and innovation.

“We are proud to be honored alongside so many incredible organizations,” said Connie Tang, President and CEO of Princess House. “I applaud all of our executives, employees and independent consultants for everything they do to make a difference in the lives of so many.”

This is the third consecutive year that Princess House has been recognized by the Commonwealth Institute as a top women-led business on this list. A local nonprofit that supports female business leaders, the Institute creates the annual rankings of for-profit and nonprofit organizations by applying a formula that takes into consideration revenue or operating budget and other variables, including number of full-time employees in the state, workplace and management diversity and innovative projects.


USANA Reports Record Third Quarter Net Sales

Salt Lake City, Utah-based USANA Health Sciences, Inc. announced for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2017, net sales were $261.8 million compared with $254.2 million in the prior-year period, or a 3.0 percent increase year over year.

Net earnings for the third quarter were $23.8 million compared with $30.1 million during the prior-year period, a decrease of 21.0 percent. Earnings per diluted share for the third quarter were 97 cents compared with $1.20 in the prior year period, a decrease of 19.2 percent.

Regionally, net sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 4.7 percent to $199.3 million. Net sales in the Americas and Europe region decreased by 2.1 percent to $62.5 million, largely due to an 8.6 percent decrease in active customers.

“For the first time in nearly three years, the overall revenue impact from changes in currency exchange rates was neutral,” said CEO Kevin Guest. “Our Asia-Pacific region continues to be the driver of our sales growth.”


Medifast Q3 Revenue Up 12.6%; OPTAVIA Up 17.5%

Medifast Inc., a provider of healthy living products and programs based in Owings Mills, Maryland, has announced for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017, revenue increased 12.6 percent to $77.2 million from revenue of $68.6 million for the third quarter last year.

“Our third quarter results reflect some early successes of our strategic growth initiatives, and we are pleased to report revenue and earnings above our expectations,” said Daniel R. Chard, Medifast’s CEO. “We believe we are well positioned for future growth and value creation for our shareholders as a result of our positive business momentum combined with our scalable infrastructure and strong balance sheet.”

Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $6.7 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, based on approximately 12.1 million shares outstanding. Third quarter 2016 net income was $6.1 million, or 51 cents per diluted share based on approximately 11.9 million shares outstanding.

For direct-selling arm OPTAVIA revenue increased 17.5 percent to $66.4 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $56.5 million for the third quarter last year. This is the eighth consecutive quarter of growth.


Herbalife Q3 2017 Net Sales Decline 3.3%

Herbalife Ltd. reported net sales of $1.1 billion for the second quarter ended September 30, 2017, which represents a decline of 3.3 percent and 4.0 percent on an as-reported and constant currency basis, respectively, compared to the third quarter 2016.

“During this year of transition, we believe our performance has now stabilized and we are seeing improvements in trends,” said Rich Goudis, CEO of the Los Angeles-based company. “By continuing to implement our strategic plan, we expect to build on the improving trends and return to growth in 2018.”

On a reported basis, third quarter 2017 net income was $54.5 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, compared to third quarter 2016 net income of $87.7 million, or $1.01 per diluted share.

For the full year 2017, the company is narrowing its 2017 reported and adjusted diluted EPS guidance to ranges of $3.90 to $4.10 and $4.42 to $4.62, respectively, from the previous ranges of $3.80 to $4.20 and $4.30 to $4.70, respectively.


Nature’s Sunshine to Move Headquarters in June 2018

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc., the Lehi, Utah-based natural health and wellness company engaged in the manufacture and direct selling of nutritional and personal care products, will bring all of its business units together in a central headquarters in the new, state-of-the-art Lone Peak Plaza. The company will begin its move in June 2018 with full occupancy expected by July 2018.

The move will allow Nature’s Sunshine to better leverage synergies and best practices in each unit to accelerate business growth across all its units. Additionally, the new building will provide more effective branding, creating a showpiece for the company, including the Hughes Center for Research and Innovation, Nature’s Sunshine’s research facility.

“Making this move is an investment in our future as it will help us better serve our distributors and provide them with the tools and materials they need,” said Gregory L. Probert, Chairman and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine.

Centrally located between the Salt Lake City and Provo–Orem metro areas, the new 125,000-square-foot building will be occupied by 200 employees. In other news, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017, the company had net sales of $89.3 million, which increased 4.5 percent, compared to $85.4 million in the third quarter of 2016.


ASEA Opens New International Headquarters

Utah-based ASEA celebrated the opening of the company’s new headquarters in Pleasant Grove. The 50,000-square-foot facility is less than a mile from the company’s production facility, built in 2013.

President Jarom Webb said the building represented a new foundation for the company’s future. “Our vision is to become a global leader in cellular health, and this building represents a significant beginning in ASEA’s chapter of realizing that vision.”

ASEA was formerly headquartered in Salt Lake City. The move to Pleasant Grove, in Utah County near its production facility would benefit the company as it plans for future growth and allow it to run more efficiently, according to CEO Charles Funke. Between the two buildings, the company now has the capacity to significantly grow in employees and global reach.

ASEA manufactures and markets cellular health products. In less than 10 years, the company has grown into a global direct sales company, now operating in more than 30 markets worldwide, with more than 65,000 active distributors across the globe.

ASEA, co-founded by Verdis Norton and his son, Tyler Norton, uses proprietary bio-technology to replicate redox signaling molecules in a sustainable form outside of the body.


Avon Products Reports 1% Increase for Q3 Revenue

Avon Products Inc., the London-based beauty company, announced for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, revenue increased 1 percent to $1.4 billion, while Active Representatives and Ending Representatives, both from reportable segments, declined 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“Our third quarter has been a productive period,” said CEO Sheri McCoy.

“While we saw mixed results, I am encouraged by the revenue improvement in many of our top 15 markets and the underlying business trends we are beginning to see,” she continued.

Chan Galbato, non-executive Chairman of Avon’s Board of Directors, added, “The search for a new Chief Executive Officer for Avon is underway. The Board is pleased with the progress and the strong interest we are receiving.”

Total Reportable Segment constant-dollar revenue was relatively unchanged, with average order growth offset by Active Representative declines, primarily in Brazil. The company saw constant-dollar revenue improvement in many of its top 15 markets, but some of its larger markets, which are highly competitive, are in various stages of recovery.


Primerica Q3 2017 Revenue Up 11%

Primerica, the Duluth, Georgia-based financial services firm, announced for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, both total revenue and adjusted operating revenue increased 11 percent year-over-year to $427.3 million. Net income and adjusted net operating income both grew 15 percent to $66.6 million compared with the prior year period. During the quarter, earnings growth and ongoing share repurchases drove both EPS and adjusted operating EPS to $1.46, increasing 19 percent compared to the third quarter a year ago.

“The outstanding performance of our salesforce leadership produced an 8 percent increase in the size of our life insurance salesforce along with 4 percent growth in life insurance policies issued and 7 percent increase in Investment and Savings (ISP) product sales,” said CEO Glenn Williams. “Income before income taxes grew 13 percent with Term Life and ISP segments’ income before income taxes increasing 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively, year-over-year.”


Nu Skin Q3 Revenue Down 6.7% Over Prior Year

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. has reported revenue of $563.7 million for the third quarter of 2017, compared to $604.2 million in Q3 2016, which included $56 million in limited-time-offer (LTO) sales. “During the third quarter, we continued to execute our growth strategy and delivered results at the top-end of our previous guidance range,” said Ritch Wood, CEO of the Provo, Utah-based company. “We generated sequential improvements in the business and are confident that our focus on social selling served as an important catalyst for steady customer and business growth in many of our markets.”

Mark Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer, added, “Looking forward, we expect fourth-quarter revenue in the $650 million to $670 million range, which includes a 1 percent negative foreign currency impact. In the quarter, we continue to anticipate approximately $100 million from the introduction of ageLOC LumiSpa, and project fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.16 to $1.21.”


On Giving Tuesday, Thirty-One Gifts and World Vision Partnered for Hurricane Relief

On Giving Tuesday, Columbus, Ohio-based Thirty-One Gifts partnered with humanitarian organization World Vision to provide backpacks, drawstring bags and clothing to thousands of children and families in the United States, Puerto Rico and elsewhere who are in need. Many of the bags were distributed to refugees and internally displaced families in conflict zones to help them carry their belongings.

“In many ways, this has been an unprecedented year for natural disasters,” said Jennifer Hawley, Senior Director for Corporate Engagement at World Vision. “Through a generous partnership with Thirty-One Gifts, we will be able to bring emergency relief items to thousands of children and families.”

For every donation to World Vision on that day, Thirty-One Gifts provided up to $1 million in backpacks, apparel and bags to help women and children in need.

This is the fourth year that two organizations have partnered together on Giving Tuesday. Since this partnership first formed in 2013, Thirty-One Gifts has donated more than $4.7 million to the humanitarian organization.

Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, is a day devoted to charitable giving, volunteering and advocacy, in response to the consumer focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was launched six years ago by the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.


jBloom Design and Harry Moon Bring Home Stories That Matter

jBloom, a seller of personalized jewelry based in Saint Peters, Missouri, and Harry Moon, a popular children’s book franchise, announced a strategic partnership to deliver the values-based children’s series into homes across the United States.

The best-selling Harry Moon and Honey Moon books are popular character-building kids’ series that teach children to look for their purpose, help their fellow schoolmates, seek wisdom from their elders and remain curious, according to the Harry Moon website. “The best-selling Harry Moon and Honey Moon series provide another life-changing resource in the jBloom treasure chest,” said President Jennifer Bonacorsi.

jBloom Designers will offer Harry Moon and Honey Moon personalized jewelry along with special book bundles for purchase.

“We are delighted to broaden our reach into the home with tween jewelry from jBloom,” said Rabbit Publisher’s Steve Goerth. “It is important that our young readers are able to wear what they are reading. The world needs heroes. For us, it is a magic fit.”

The Harry Moon and Honey Moon books, featuring the line of Harry Moon and Honey Moon jewelry, will be available through jBloom’s 1,500 Designers beginning this fall.


Ambit Energy Expands Service to Canada

Ambit Energy, a Dallas, Texas-based direct seller of energy, is launching its second international expansion with Ambit Energy Canada.

“We are thrilled to expand into Alberta, and provide quality service and a variety of options to our new customers in Canada,” said Jere Thompson, Jr., Co-Founder and CEO of Ambit Energy. “Our first international expansion to Japan has been very successful, and we are proud to support the entrepreneurial spirit in our new international service areas.”

Ambit is also rolling out the “T.L.C. Pledge” so Texas residents can “Try it, Like it or Change it.” This means if a customer signs up for the Free & Clear Nights, Lone Star Plus 12, or Lone Star Basics 12 plan and is not happy with it, they can change to any other Ambit plan for free within 60 days of enrolling in one of the three new plans.

Canada is Ambit’s second international market expansion this year, following the launch of Ambit Energy Japan in July. In addition to Canada and Japan, Ambit currently provides electricity and natural gas services in 16 U.S. states and Washington D.C.


Le-Vel Introduces Thrive Café

Le-Vel Brands, based in Frisco, Texas, recently announced the launch of its Thrive Café Premium Coffee Beverage, a mocha-flavored beverage designed to be a more nutritious alternative to coffee.

“With Thrive Café, we’ve found a way to give people the flavor and warmth of a good cup of coffee, along with premium-grade ingredients that support a healthy lifestyle,” said Le-Vel Co-CEOs Jason Camper and Paul Gravette. “You can still enjoy that morning or afternoon ritual you love while giving your body the nutrition it needs, so you get the best of all worlds.” 

Featuring antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and plant extracts, Thrive Café is designed to support weight management, energy and clarity, according to the company. The latest addition to the Thrive Plus product line, it can be served hot or cold.

Each individual packet of Thrive Café contains just 50 calories, 2 grams of fat and 3 grams of sugar. In comparison, a typical café mocha from a coffee shop contains hundreds of calories, a large amount of fat and several teaspoons of sugar.