Herbalife Ltd. late Monday reported a slight increase in third quarter net income despite a small drop in sales and unfavorable currency fluctuations. The results still exceeded analyst forecasts.

After the markets closed, the Los Angeles weight loss and nutritional supplement distributor reported net income of $57.9 million (91 cents per share), compared with $58.1 million (89 cents) a year ago. Net sales fell less than 1 percent to $600 million.

After one-time items, net income for the period was $54.1 million (85 cents). Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the adjusted earnings of 69 cents per share on revenue of $575 million.

Herbalife said it saw growth in nearly every market except Mexico, where the imposition of a value-added tax lowered sales volumes at its Nutrition Clubs, where customers come in daily for weight loss shakes, counseling and socializing.

Looking ahead, the company expects fourth quarter earnings per share in the range of 88 to 91 cents, with net sales growth to range from 11 percent to 12 percent. Analysts expect earnings of 86 cents per share.

“As we head into 2010, many of our key markets, led by engaged distributors, are demonstrating the successful transition to a business model more focused on daily consumption including the United States, Taiwan, Korea, Brazil and India,” Chief Executive Michael O. Johnson said in a statement.

Herbalife earlier shares closed up 99 cents, or 3 percent, to $34.64, and rose 7.5 percent in after-market trading.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.