April 25, 2008 / 4:03 PM / 10 years ago

NBTY shares fall after costs, weak Canada sales hit Q2 profit

April 25 (Reuters) - Shares of NBTY Inc NTY.N lost nearly a quarter of their value on Friday, a day after the nutritional supplements maker posted lower-than-expected quarterly earnings on higher costs and sluggish sales at its Canadian stores.

The company, whose North American retail division consists of 450 Vitamin World stores in the United States and 80 LeNaturiste stores in Canada, said same-store sales for the division fell 4 percent in the second quarter.

The company, whose brands include Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, Osteo Bi-Flex, Rexall and Ester-C, said although its U.S. Vitamin World stores were profitable, its Canadian retail chain LeNaturiste operated at a loss.

NBTY saw a 13 percent rise in advertising costs and a 9 percent rise in its selling, general and administrative costs in the quarter.

The company, based in Bohemia, New York, posted a second-quarter net profit of $44 million, or 67 cents a share, on revenue of $533 million.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 77 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $533.1 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

NBTY’s stock fell to a low of $25.97, before it pared some of its losses and was down almost $7 at $27.77 in morning trade, making it one of the top percentage losers on the New York Stock Exchange.

About 2.1 million NBTY shares changed hands in intraday trading on Friday, which is more than 3 times the 50-day moving average volume of the stock. (Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)

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