CORRECTED-Weight Watchers posts lower-than-expected sales, cuts FY profit forecast

Wed Aug 1, 2012 7:06pm EDT

(Corrects paragraph five to say revenue fell marginally, not rose 2.3 percent)

* Second-quarter earnings per share $1.36 vs est $1.35

* Second-quarter rev $484.8 mln vs est $492.5 mln

* Cuts full-year earnings per share view to $4.00-$4.20 vs est $4.58

* Shares fall 9 percent in after-market trade

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Weight Watchers International Inc reported second quarter sales below market estimates hurt by a fall in its North American meetings business, prompting the company to cut its full-year profit forecast.

The company said is it has been experiencing weakness in business trends since June and is cautious about the second half of the year in light of difficult macroeconomic trends.

Weight Watchers now expects to earn between $4.00 and $4.20 per share, down from its previous forecast of between $4.60 and $4.80 per share.

The company reported earnings of $77.5 million, or $1.36 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30 down from $87 million, or $1.17 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company, which offers weight management plans through a network of company-owned and franchise operations, said sales for the quarter fell marginally to $484.8 million.

Revenue at the company's meetings business, which organizes meetings to offer nutritional advice to groups of customers, fell about 7 percent to $209 million in the quarter.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.35 per share, on revenue of $492.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company fell 9 percent to $44.40 in after-market trade. They closed at $48.79 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arpita Mukherjee and Juhi Arora in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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