Why Vitamin Shoppe Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Vitamin Shoppe (NYSE: VSI  ) were looking healthier today, finishing up 12% after a strong third-quarter earnings report.

So what: The health-supplement chain's profit was essentially even with a year ago, coming in at $0.53 per share, a penny ahead of estimates. Larger expenses took a bite out of a solid 14% increase in sales, which at $272.5 million was also in line with expectations. Comparable sales grew by 2.6%, the 32nd consecutive quarter of positive growth, CEO Tony Truesdale noted. The retailer als said it expects low- to mid-single-digit sales growth for this year and mid-single-digit growth next year.

Now what: While Vitamin Shoppe's quarter was solid, the 12% jump in share price is a little surprising for just a penny beat. The chain seems to have a promising expansion plan in place, as it expects to open 60 stores next year, increasing the base nearly 10%, and is busy with its recent acquisition of Super Supplements and the opening of its largest-ever distribution center. Profits should grow steadily, but I'd be wary of shares that could get overheated again as they had when they peaked earlier this year near $65. There's little to justify a valuation much higher than the current one.

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