Nutrisystem's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Nutrisystem, Inc. (NTRI)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

March 5, 2012 4:30 pm ET

Executives

Joseph Crivelli - IR

Joe Redling - Chairman and CEO

David Clark - CFO

Analysts

Greg Badishkanian - Citigroup

Gary Albanese - Auriga

Mitch Pinheiro - Janney Capital Markets

Anand Vankawala - Avondale Partners

Kurt Frederick - Wedbush Securities

Presentation

Operator

Good day and welcome to the Nutrisystem, Inc. fourth quarter and yearend 2011 conference call. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Joe Crivelli, Investor Relations for Nutrisystem.

Joseph Crivelli

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us to discuss Nutrisystem's fourth quarter and full year 2011 financial results. With us today from management are Joe Redling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and David Clark, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind everyone that during this conference call Nutrisystem management will make certain forward-looking statements about its outlook for 2012 and beyond that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are generally preceded by words such as believes, plans, intends, expects, anticipates or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are protected by the Safe Harbor contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include, but are not limited to those factors set forth in Nutrisystem's filings with the SEC. Nutrisystem is making these statements as of March 5, 2012 and assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any of the forward-looking information in this announcement.

I'll now turn the call over to Joe Redling, Nutrisystem's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Joe Redling

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us on today's call. I will review the company's 2011 financial results and provide some key performance highlights as well as provide an update on our January diet season launch and our outlook for the year. David will then provide more detail on the financials.

As we talked about on prior quarterly calls 2011 has fair share of challenges for Nutrisystem, but we reacted quickly to preserve profitability. The cost cutting efforts we initiated in February of 2011 enabled us to reduce general and administrative expenses by $13 million during the year.

We also carefully managed our marketing spend to optimize consumer response and conversion. As a result, we delivered profitable year with $12.3 million of net income or $0.43 per share, which was in line with our original 2011 guidance of $0.40 to $0.50 per share.

The fourth quarter came in slightly below our expectation. This is largely due to additional marketing investment we incurred in December to support the announcement and publicity of Janet Jackson as our new brand ambassador and our new Success program.

Lowe customer account coming out of 2011 will negatively impact the first quarter of 2012. However, given all that's happening in the business, we see a clear path to mid-to-single digit revenue growth for the full year of 2012. We also expect to generate a low double-digit increase in EBITDA. David will provide additional details, when he discusses the outlook in a moment.

So far the early results from the 2012 diet season launch are encouraging. We believe it has created a strong foundation of demand for us build on throughout the year.

The announcement of Janet Jackson as our new female brand ambassador created a tremendous amount of buzz and initial response. Janet was featured on ABC Nightline, Extra, The Insider, Access Hollywood, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, USA TODAY, New York Times and other outlets.

Clearly, she has introduced us to a broader customer base. Janet continues to experience great results from the program and we will have more opportunities ahead to reinforce the efficacy of our new program and continue to expand on her story of her own personal weight loss journey. So stay tuned.

In addition to Janet, Terry Bradshaw, has been a solid step. His partnership with Nutrisystem was announced live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with exclusive premier of a 60 second television spot and follow-up placements ran on Fox and Friends, Entertainment Tonight, IMS and Good Morning and others.

As a result, our men's business is performing well. We've seen a steady double-digit increase in new male customers since launching with Terry. Terry has also shown to have strong crossover appeal as women are just as compelled by Terry ad as male, which isn't a surprise, given how iconic Terry is and his boundless charisma.

While we are encouraged by the growth of our men's business so far this year, our only internal survey signal strong increases in overall men consideration. And we still believe we have additional potential, as we optimize our marketing efforts, utilizing Terry and of course Dan Marino.

We feel we have a great set of assets with our broad base of brand ambassador. Marie Osmond and Dan Marino continue to support the sustainability of our programs and appeal to specific consumer segments that remain critically important to us. Janet Jackson expands our reach and appeal with women and men, and have clearly provided us with a high level of excitement, units and relevance to the Nutrisystem brand. Terry Bradshaw, both reinforces our overall brand positioning with men, while appealing to a broad cross segment of both men and women.

As a company where food is our primary product, we will continue to be committed to evolving and improving our food offering. Our new foods are getting terrific reviews and the Celebrity Chefs Culinary Council, we introduced last year is making a real difference.

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