Nu Skin downgraded to Sell from Hold at Stifel
Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan downgraded Nu Skin Enterprises to Sell from Hold and cut his price target for the shares to $43 from $63. The analyst sees increasing uncertainty surrounding direct selling companies in China relating to the investigation announced in January into the unlawful promotion and sale of health products. Further, the recent death of a Nu Skin registered customer who refused medical treatment believing company products would treat illness resulted in the company being cited in two communist party publications, Beijing Youth Daily and China Daily, with the latter calling for an investigation into the woman's death and Nu Skin's misleading advertising, Astrachan tells investors in a research note. The analyst admits he's unable to determine whether an investigation will be undertaken, but he says the mention in prominent party publications is reminiscent of events in 2014 that ultimately resulted in Nu Skin suspending meetings and recruitment, resulting in sales declines for two years in China. Astrachan cites increasing regulatory concerns in China for his downgrade of Nu Skin shares to Sell.