Fitness financials: Analyst upgrades Brunswick to 'outperform,' shares rise, plus Finish Line

Shares of Brunswick Corp., parent of Life Fitness, rose Sept. 25 when an analyst upgraded the stock and said the boating industry -- a core market for the company -- has sunk enough to find the bottom. Company shares closed at $11.04, up $1.51 over the previous day's trading. Plus, Finish Line swings to loss in Q2.
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Analyst upgrades Brunswick to 'outperform,' shares rise

Shares of Brunswick Corp., parent of Life Fitness, rose Sept. 25 when an analyst upgraded the stock and said the boating industry -- a core market for the company -- has sunk enough to find the bottom. Company shares closed at $11.04, up $1.51 over the previous day's trading.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Edward Aaron upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "sector perform," following a survey of around 150 boat dealers that showed demand is stabilizing. He wrote in a client note that sales of used boats are holding up relatively well, which means boating interest is higher than many think.

Aaron added that while industry conditions remain tough, sales will improve greatly starting in the first half of 2010 through at least 2011. "While dealers continue to express cautious ordering plans, we were encouraged by progress on inventory levels -- especially for Brunswick dealers -- and improving sales expectations," he wrote in a client note.

His price target for the company is $17.

Finish Line swings to loss in Q2

Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) swung to a second-quarter net loss as its now-discontinued Man Alive chain rattled its bottom line.

For the quarter ended Aug. 29, net loss was $874,000, or $0.02 per share, compared with a profit of $13.1 million, or $0.24 per share, a year earlier. The company said it made an operating profit of $0.21 per share but lost $0.23 per share on the discontinued Man Alive business.

Revenue fell 11.4 percent to $298.7 million, from $337 million a year ago. Same-store sales fell 9.9 percent.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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