Nu Skin (NUS) is Doing Something Herbalife (HLF) Isn't: Growing in China

April 19, 2013 7:28 AM EDT
Nu Skin (NYSE: NUS) shares are flat in early trading Friday following reaffirmation of hitting $1 billion of sales in China by 2014. The company first put in the goal back in 2010, when sales in greater China were $268.2 million.

In its most recent fiscal year, Nu Skin reported sales of $570.7 million in greater China, amounting to 26 percent of overall sales. By comparison, greater China made up just 17 percent of total sales in 2010.

Peer Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) has also been seeing strong growth in China, though not at the overall volume that Nu Skin has reported. With its latest fiscal report, Herbalife reported sales of $278.5 million in China, accounting for 6.8 percent of the $4.07 billion in sales reported. In 2010, the company reported sales of $184.4 million, just 6.7 percent of total sales.

Though Herbalife said China is an important market for the company, it appears that growth in the region is stagnant when compared with Nu Skin.

It should be noted that revs in the Asia Pacific region grew from $683.5 million in 2010 to $1.14 billion for Herbalife last year. Including China, that's the strongest growth area for Herbalife.

Given that China's GDP saw massive gains in 2010 through 2012, and has since been seen slowing, did Herbalife miss out on a key opportunity?

Shares of Herbalife are down in early trading.

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