Life Time profit beat expectations; fitness firm ramps up expansions

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 25, 2013 - 8:58 PM

Net earnings rose nearly 10 percent in the quarter.

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Life Time Fitness Inc. reported a strong jump in second quarter results and said it was getting back to opening new centers at the rate it did before the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. File photo of a center in Lakeville, Minn.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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Life Time Fitness Inc. said Thursday it will enter two new states next year, California and Iowa, as it accelerates new club building following another strong quarterly performance.

The Chanhassen-based fitness firm said its second-quarter profit rose nearly 10 percent to $33.2 million, or 80 cents a share. That beat the Wall Street consensus estimate by a penny. Revenue rose 6.9 percent to $308.1 million.

After initially rising, Life Time shares fell $1.20, or 2.2 percent, to $52.84 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Membership dues rose 5.4 percent in the quarter to $194.8 million and revenue at comparable fitness centers, those open at least 13 months, rose 4.8 percent.

During the quarter, the company opened its first fitness center in Alabama, near Birmingham. It plans to open centers in Virginia and New Jersey this fiscal year and six more in 2014.

Following the global economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, Life Time cut back its expansion activity to two to three new centers a year. It is now back to what executives consider to be a more normal expansion rate of six to 10 centers a year. “It’s refreshing and exciting for us to get back to this pace of opening additional centers,” spokesman Jason Thunstrom said.

Among the new centers Life Time announced for 2014 is a second in suburban New York City and first-ever units in Cali­fornia, in the Orange County city of Laguna Niguel, and Iowa, in the city of Urbandale west of Des Moines.

Life Time also said it expects per-share earnings for the year to range from $2.89 to $2.95, an increase from its previous guidance of $2.87 to $2.95. Wall Street analysts had been expecting full-year earnings of $2.93 per share.

The company said it expects full-year revenue to be in the range of $1.21 billion to $1.22 billion.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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