Fitness financials: Bally noteholders agree to waivers, plus Iconix, Crocs, Wal-Mart

Bally noteholders agreed to waivers; Iconix said it would join the join S&P SmallCap 600; Crocs directors sold shares, and the company signed a Marvel licensing agreement; and Wal-Mart Q1 earnings rose 8 percent.
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Bally noteholders agree to waivers
Bally Total Fitness (OTC: BFTH) said it has secured limited waiver and forbearance agreements from the requisite holders of its 10-1/2 percent Senior Notes due 2011 and its 9-7/8 percent Senior Subordinated Notes due 2007.

The waivers relate to the company's inability to meet the filing deadline for its 2006 Annual Report on Form 10-K and 2007 quarterly report on Form 10-Q to the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the company's non-payment of interest on its Senior Subordinated Notes, each of which are defaults under the indentures governing the notes.

Under terms of the agreements, noteholders will waive the defaults until July 13, 2007, on terms similar to the recently executed forbearance agreement under the company's senior secured credit facility. That agreement required that forbearance arrangements be in place with holders of a majority of the Senior Notes and at least 75 percent of the Senior Subordinated Notes by May 14, 2007. Holders of more than 80 percent of the Senior Notes and the Senior Subordinated Notes signed forbearance agreements with Bally.

Iconix to join S&P SmallCap 600
Standard & Poor's said it will add Danskin parent Iconix Brand Group (Nasdaq: ICON) to its SmallCap 600 index after a current member is eliminated through acquisition.

Iconix will replace WebEx Communications, which is being acquired by S&P 100 index member Cisco Systems.

In aftermarket activity, Iconix shares rose $0.99, or 5.1 percent, to $20.30. In the regular trading session, shares added $0.33 to close at $19.31 on May 17.

Crocs directors sells shares; signs Marvel licensing agreement
According to filings with the SEC, several directors at Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) recently have been selling shares. Insiders file Form 4s with the SEC to report transactions in their companies' shares. Open market purchases and sales must be reported within two business days of the transaction.

Those selling shares include:

>> Michael E. Marks sold 104,259 shares of common stock on May 9-10 for $69.93 to $71.31 apiece.
>> Richard L. Sharp sold 100,000 shares of common stock on May 10 for $70.25 to $71.13 apiece.
>> CEO Ronald R. Snyder sold 248,166 shares of common stock on May 14-15 for $70.96 to $74.01 apiece.
>> Thomas J. Smach sold 14,202 shares of common stock on May 15 for $73.09 and $73.10 apiece.
>> Raymond D. Croghan sold 9,000 shares of common stock under a prearranged trading plan on May 14-15 for $71.45 to $73.15 apiece. The stock sale was conducted under a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan which allows a company insider to set up a program in advance for such transactions and proceed with them even if he or she comes into possession of material nonpublic information.

In other company news: Crocs has signed a licensing agreement to create new lines of the company's plastic slip-on shoes and accessories featuring comic book characters published by Marvel Entertainment Inc. The Crocs shoes and snap-on Jibbitz charms will feature superhero characters including Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and The X-Men.

Crocs said the new line of Jibbitz charms will be available at some U.S. and Canadian retailers this summer, and the new line of Crocs footwear will be available later in the year.

Wal-Mart Q1 earnings rise 8 Percent

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) said that its profits in the current quarter could fall short of expectations after reporting an 8 percent gain in first-quarter earnings amid cost-cutting and strength in its warehouse clubs and international businesses. The company continued to struggle with its namesake discount business.

For its first quarter, Wal-Mart said it earned $2.83 billion, or $0.68 per share, compared with $2.62 billion, or $0.64 per share, in the previous year quarter.

Wal-Mart had revenue of $86.41 billion in the three months ending April 30, up from $79.67 billion in the year prior.

Same-store sales rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter at Wal-Mart's U.S. stores, with its Sam's Club warehouse stores accounting for all of the gain. Wal-Mart's namesake stores slipped 0.1 percent in the quarter, while Sam's Club warehouse stores rose 4.7 percent.

For the current quarter, Wal-Mart projected same-store sales to be up a modest 1 percent to 2 percent.

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