Herbalife Ltd. reported a 37 percent drop in first-quarter profit Monday and said it would suspend its quarterly dividend so it could use the cash to repurchase shares. Adjusted net income and sales were better than expected.

After the markets closed, the downtown L.A. weight-loss and nutritional products maker reported net income of $74.6 million (74 cents a share), compared with nearly $119 million ($1.10) in the same period a year earlier. The company blamed a foreign exchange loss in Venezuela during the quarter for the decline.

Net sales rose 12 percent to $1.26 billion.

Adjusted net income rose 10 percent to $151 million ($1.50 a share). Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to record adjusted income of $1.29 a share on revenue of $1.23 billion.

The company said it now expects 2014 adjusted profit of between $6.10 and $6.30 per share, up from earlier guidance of $5.85 to $6.05 per share. The Wall Street consensus had been for $6.05 a share.

Herbalife, which is facing several regulatory investigations triggered by a campaign launched by activist investor William Ackman, said it expected to repurchase a $581 million worth of its outstanding common stock during the current quarter as part of a previously announced $1.5 billion share repurchase program. The board approved suspending a quarterly dividend to help fund the buyback and return cash to investors sooner, it said.

Shares earlier closed up $1.02, or 1.7 percent, to $58.85 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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