NEW YORK — Herbalife raised its 2014 net income guidance Tuesday after buying back hundreds of millions in stock.
Earlier this month the Los Angeles company increased its stock buyback program by $500 million. Share repurchases help support per-share earnings, and Herbalife now expects adjusted profit of $5.85 to $6.05 per share in 2014.
But the nutritional products seller sees sales rising 7.5 to 9.5 percent in 2014, or to about $5.19 billion to $5.28 billion, down from its October forecast of 9 to 11 percent growth.
FactSet says analysts expect net income of $5.87 per share and $5.31 billion in revenue.
Herbalife, which uses a network of distributors to sell its nutritional supplements and weight-loss products, has faced scrutiny over its business model. Hedge fund manager William Ackman has bet against the company, saying it operates a pyramid scheme. Ackman’s rival, Carl Icahn, disagrees and has invested in the company. Herbalife has denied Ackman’s allegations.
In the fourth quarter, Herbalife’s profit rose 10 percent to $123.5 million, or $1.15 per share. Excluding one-time items, earnings came to $1.28 per share, while grew 20 percent to $1.27 billion. Herbalife’s results were about equal to a forecast it gave earlier this month.
Shares of Herbalife Ltd. gained $1.03, or 1.5 percent, to $79.96 aftermarket. The stock has gained 78 percent over the past 12 months.