Vitamin Shoppe revenue growth skids; shares slide

Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:20pm EST

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(Reuters) - Nutritional products retailer Vitamin Shoppe Inc's (VSI.N) revenue missed analysts' estimates for the first time in several quarters, hurt by the impact of superstorm Sandy, sending its shares down 19 percent.

The steep fall in shares was the biggest intraday percentage decline for the stock, which has gained about 47 percent in the last one year.

Revenue grew about 2 percent to $218.9 million. Analysts had expected $223.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The slowdown in revenue growth surprised investors as sales have risen by about 14 percent in each of the first three quarters of 2012.

The 35-year old company sells vitamins, minerals, herbs and other health products under brands such as Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech and True Athlete. It also sells national brands.

Same store sales grew 5.2 percent but Hurricane Sandy had a 1.6 percent negative impact, affecting about 160 stores, the company said.

It reported adjusted earnings of 40 cents for the quarter, in line with estimates.

The company attributed higher costs to expenses related to the Super Supplements acquisition and the opening of Canadian stores.

The company also said that it had one less sales week as compared to last year, with the extra week in the fourth quarter of 2011 contributing $15.6 million in revenue.

Shares of Vitamin Shoppe were down $11.75 at $51.59 in afternoon trading on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Juhi Arora in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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