Nu Skin Inventory Red Flags Remain Even After $50 Million Impairment Charge

During the second quarter of 2014, the Company made a determination to adjust its inventory carrying value. Heightened media and regulatory scrutiny in Mainland China in the first part of 2014, and the voluntary actions the Company took in response to such scrutiny, had a negative impact on the size of the Company's limited-time offer in June, which significantly reduced its expectations for plans to sell TR90 in a limited-time offer later in 2014 or the beginning of 2015. This resulted in a $50 million write-down of estimated surplus inventory in Mainland China. Total adjustments to the Company's inventory carrying value as of June 30, 2014 and December 31, 2013 were $58.0 million and $5.9 million, respectively. [Emphasis added.]

If Nu Skin still intends to sell its impaired inventory to recover costs, the age of its other unimpaired inventory will invariably grow longer. Even if we assume that Nu Skin trashed $50 million of impaired inventory as unsaleable, the days-sales-in-inventory on its remaining unimpaired inventories will likely continue to grow since it is carrying an excessive level of merchandise while it is projecting significant declines in second half revenues.

Nu Skin projected third quarter 2014 revenues in the range of $620 million to $640 million compared to $908.3 million revenues in same quarter of 2013. It projected fourth quarter 2014 revenues in the range of $650 million to $675 million compared to $1.056 billion in the same quarter of 2013. Its revenue guidance amounts to a decline in second half 2014 revenues of 33% to 35%. At the beginning of the second half of 2014, Nu Skin carried $389.7 million of inventories compared to $178.2 million at the beginning of the second half of 2013. It carried 118.7% more inventories going into the second half 2014. Therefore, it appears that Nu Skin is excessively overstocked at a time when its revenues are expected to significantly decline. That's a significant red flag.

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