Nutrisystem: Zacks’ Bull of the Day Play

Nutrisystem, Inc. (NTRISnapshot Report) continues to cash in on the obsession with weight loss and health. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to generate double digit earnings growth this year and next year.

Nutrisystem is famous for weight loss programs including Nutrisystem My Way, its 28-day food delivery program. Feeding on the healthy food frenzy sweeping the nation, the company’s meal choices including 100 foods which do not contain artifical preservatives or flavors.

Plans can also be customized for specialized diets, including those with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Another Beat in the First Quarter

On Apr 30, Nutrisystem reported first quarter results and easily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents. Earnings were $0.10 compared to the Zacks Consensus of $0.05.

It extended the company’s streak of earnings beats to 10 quarters. It last missed all the way back in 2012.

Revenue jumped 12% to $137.2 million from $122.2 million.

The first quarter is considered “diet season” due to New Years resolutions. It is the big season for the company.

It was the second year in a row the company saw double digit revenue growth during diet season.

Gross profit margin also improved by 310 basis points to 52%.

Raised Full Year Guidance

The company said it saw momentum build during the quarter.

Given the strong start to the beginning of the year, it felt confident enough to raise revenue and EPS guidance for the full year.

Earnings are now expected in the range of $0.81 to $0.91 per share up from its previous guidance of $0.73 to $0.83.

Analysts also liked what they heard. 2 estimates were raised in the last month, pushing the Zacks Consensus up to $0.87 which is on the high end of the company’s guidance range.

That is also earnings growth of 31.3%.

Analysts expect the good times to continue with another 15% earnings growth in 2016.

Shares at 2-Year Highs

With all this good news, it shouldn’t be surprising that the shares have jumped to a 2-year high.

The stock is no longer cheap. It trades with a forward P/E of 26. But with double digit earnings expected, investors are buying the growth.

For investors who are looking for a way to play the health and wellness craze, then Nutrisystem should be on your short list.

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Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Insider Trader and Value Investor services. You can follow her on twitter at @TraceyRyniec.

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