Thursday, October 04, 2007

What Can We Learn about Fad Diet Trend from Stock Market

What does stock market have anything to do with fad diet trend?

Well, a lot.

We can learn from the publicly traded companies who manufacture and/or supply fitness products, diet pills, nutritional supplements, weight management and services.

In general, a company's stock price is a (leading) "speculated" indicator of the company's business sales, profit and growth potential. If the business is great and growing, the stock price typically goes up. How fast the stock price going up also shows how "hot" the company is in the business or industry sector. On the other hand, when business is going south, so is the stock share price. It could get very very ugly!

A recent example is NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI) that offers a weight loss program based on portion-controlled, lower Glycemic Index prepared meals. The program has no membership fees and provides free online and telephone counseling.

As of late Wednesday October 3, 2007, the company reduced its third-quarter revenue and earnings forecast. The stock dived hard. By mid-day trading on Thursday October 4, the company lost nearly one-third of its value. Check current NTRI stock quote here.

The company cited a decline in business from new customers and considerable competition from new over-the-counter diet drug Alli. Analysts noted that there were a number of reasons for the dropoff.

Check the company's 5-year stock/volume chart in the following.



The stock soared about 10 times in the year of 2005 alone from $4 to about $40 a share. It's traded as high as mid 70s in the last two years but hasn't gained much ground. Today it pummeled to about $33 a share at this writing, the level traded about two years ago. Will it come back? Only time will tell.

The company has spent a lot of money doing TV informercials - "Another two weeks of NutriSystem meals free" - with testimonials from former NFL football star and many customers. Its business hyper-growth coincided with the end of the last high-protein, high-fat, low-carb fad diet. Frustrated weight-loss consumers have to find the next dieting method to fill the void. The pre-packaged meal plan foots the bill.

The pre-prepared-meal-program business model works for a few years. Now the company has hard time getting the first-time customers to sign up and stay on the program. Does it mean this meal-program dieting craze gone? Are people getting sick and tired of the sales pitch? Probably. We'll know better in a few quarters to see if their business is picking up again or dying down.

It's difficult to stay on this type of meal program for long. The foods may taste great. But personally, I cannot take the pre-packaged meals, every meal, for a week. It may work for anxious habitual dieters who want to try anything, everything.

The concept of portion control, balanced nutrition and total calorie control is sound in a weight management program. Ultimately, you have to learn how to choose healthy foods by yourself either preparing at home or dining out. Othewise, it takes away the fun, variety, freedom of healthy good choices and preparation. Then you don't know what to eat, how much to eat and how often to eat when you're off the program. That's why many people gain back the weight they've dieted so hard to lose. These are the same people who are "dieting" all the time, jumping from a new diet method to the next.

Healthy food choice and nutrition should be an integrated part of a healthy, high-performance lifestyle. A combination of healthy lifestyle changes, balanced nutrition and regular exericses (both strength and cardiovacular training) is a proven strategy for weight loss and successful long-term weight management.

There is no magic pill or quick fix.

It takes discipline, commitment and accountability.

Fat-loss is that simple, but not easy.

Click here to learn the proven fat loss strategies from the top expert.

Disclaimers: The author is a fitness professional and does not own NTRI shares nor have any vested interested in NTRI. This post is for information purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell the security.

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1 comment:

Carey Yang said...

This stock had been under water since it plunged 30% to about $33 on 10/04/07.

On 02/20/08, The company reported recent quarter and annual earings. The numbers didn't look like. The stock dived 30% again to $16.58.

If the stock is leading indicator, then the company business model and sales converstion are in deep trouble. Perhaps it's a step closer to end of pre-packaged meal plan CRAZE.

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