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What: Shares of Blyth (UNKNOWN:BTH.DL) got banged up today, falling as much as 14%, and finishing down 8% after an offbeat earnings report.
So what: The direct-to-consumer marketing company said sales dropped 33%, to $179.5 million, due to poor results at ViSalus, a subsidiary multilevel marketing company. CEO Robert George said, "The overall sales decline year over year was driven by a lower North American Promoter count." As a result, Blyth posted a per-share loss of $0.70 per share, compared to a profit of $0.04 in the quarter a year ago. George sounded optimistic about the future of ViSalus, however, saying, "We are encouraged by the focused efforts to relaunch North America undertaken by the leadership team."
Now what: Blyth's two other segments didn't fare much better, as sales in Candles & Home Decor fell 3%, while Catalog & Internet revenues increased by just 0.3%. Operating loss for the two segments combined was $9.4 billion. The company also sharply reduced its full-year EPS guidance to $0.35-$0.45, from $0.75-$0.90. Considering the weakness in all three divisions of the company, and Blyth's lack of any competitive advantage in an uncompelling industry, it's hard to see a reason to invest here.
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