Black Diamond touts $70 million in available cash and credit for prospective acquisitions, apparel launch

Black Diamond Inc. reported higher revenue and profit for the fourth quarter 2011, also updating investors of its cash and credit on hand following its recent stock offering and paying down of debt.
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Black Diamond Inc. (Nasdaq:BDE) reported higher revenue and profit for the fourth quarter 2011, also updating investors of its cash and credit on hand following its recent stock offering and paying down of debt.

The Salt Lake City-based outdoor equipment manufacturer and parent to Gregory Mountain Products reported fourth-quarter sales up 6 percent to $36.3 million, and swung to a profit of $3.5 million, or 16 cents per diluted share for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $500,000, or 2 cents per diluted share, a year ago.

Black Diamond officials said the company raised $63.4 million from its secondary stock offering in February. It used some of that money to fully pay off $22.4 million left outstanding in the company’s $35 million line of credit with Zions Bank.

It leaves Black Diamond with about $34.5 million in cash, along with $35 million in available line-of-credit capacity, officials said.

“We plan to deploy it thoughtfully toward our strategic objectives, including our expected fall 2013 apparel launch and acquisition strategy,” Black Diamond CEO Peter Metcalf said in a statement. During the company's conference call, officials said Black Diamond had added 80 new jobs in 2011 to help gear up for continued growth.

Metcalf previously outlined to SNEWS some of the strategies and objectives the company had for possible acquisitions, including interest in product areas it wasn’t already playing in (minus apparel) with a keen eye on Europe as well.

"We are currently in advanced discussions at this time with what we believe would be an ideal acquisition," Metcalf told investors during the coference call.

Separately, one Wall Street investor sees Black Diamond setting up for a spree of acquisitions based on the history of its senior leadership.

For 2012, Black Diamond officials project full-year revenue between $160-$165 million, excluding new category launches or acquisitions. That would represent a 10-13 percent increase beyond its $145.8 million revenue reported for 2011.

--David Clucas

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