Fitness financials: Cybex fourth-quarter profit up on sales of exercise equipment, plus Amer Sports, Life Time Fitness, Copeland Sports, GSI, Brunswick, Puma, Nike

Fitness financials: Cybex 4Q profit up on sales of exercise equipment. Amer Sports reports Q4, FY '06 earnings results. Life Time Fitness earnings rise on higher membership. Copeland Sports files Chapter 11 liquidation plan. GSI's Q4 net income jumps, aided by tax benefit. Brunswick to sell New Technologies' marine electronics unit. Puma Q4 profit down 26 percent. Nike announces stock split, declares dividend.
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Cybex 4Q profit up on sales of exercise equipment
Cybex International (Nasdaq: CYBI) fourth-quarter net income rose 14 percent on higher sales of its exercise equipment.

Quarterly earnings totaled $2.8 million, or 16 cents per share, from $2.4 million, or 16 cents per share during the same period a year ago. Revenue grew 6 percent to $38.2 million from $36 million in the year-ago period.

Excluding a fourth quarter 2005 litigation-related charge, and after an adjustment to the tax provision, the company's fourth quarter 2005 non-GAAP net income was $1.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share.

For the year, net income rose sharply to $20.4 million, or $1.19 per share, from 60,000, or break-even per share in 2005. Revenue grew 11 percent to $126.9 million, from $114.6 million in 2005.

Excluding 2005 litigation-related charges, and after adjustments to the company's tax provision, Cybex's non-GAAP net income for 2006 was $5.0 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $2.8 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for 2005.

John Aglialoro, chairman and CEO, said in a statement, "For 2007 and beyond, an additional goal is to continue to improve operating margins. We expect the capital investments we are making in manufacturing facilities and processes to lower production costs as well as provide for increased capacity. In Q3 2007, the Cybex strength lines will move into our new Owatonna manufacturing facility which will house additional robotic welding, a computerized powder coat paint system, and other automation designed to lower costs and improve throughput."

The company will discuss its fourth-quarter and year-end results in a conference call on Feb. 22. For more information, go to www.cybexintl.com.

Amer Sports reports Q4, FY '06 earnings results
Amer Sports said its 2006 net sales increased 31 percent due to Salomon's inclusion in the full-year figures. Net sales grew by 4 percent to Euro 1.79 billion (USD $2.33 billion) compared to Euro $1.73 billion in 2005. For the full year, Precor's net sales contribution was 15 percent.

Amer's earnings before interest and taxes amounted to Euro 120.2 million (USD $ 157.1 million) versus Euro 117.1 million in 2005. Its earnings before taxes were Euro 96.6 million (USD $126.2 million) compared to Euro 93.1 million. Earnings per share came in at Euro 0.98 (USD $1.28) versus Euro 0.87 last year.

Fourth-quarter net sales for Amer were up 4 percent to Euro 581.6 million (USD $760.2 million) compared to Euro 558.5 million in the same period last year. The Precor fitness segment was 14 percent of the company's net sales for the quarter.

Net sales for the Precor fitness segment's fourth quarter were up 3 percent -- Euro 83.0 million (USD $108.4 million) versus Euro 80.7 million in the same period the year before.

Precor's full-year net sales were up 9 percent to Euro 275.6 million (USD $360.2 million) from Euro 252.1 million last year. Of net sales, the Americas generated 77 percent, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 16 percent and Asia pacific 7 percent. Sales were up 18 percent in EMEA, 13 percent in Asia Pacific and 7 percent in the Americas.

Precor's EBIT increased 12 percent to Euro 34.8 million (USD $45.4 million) from Euro 31.1 million last year. Non-recurring quality related costs weakened earnings by about Euro 2 million (USD $2.6 million), Amer said.

The company said Precor's sales to fitness clubs continued to soar in North America. Precor's success in the fitness club market was heavily driven by the high demand for the new Experience aerobic equipment, it added.

Amer also said that Precor's growth in 2007 is forecast to once again outpace that of the market, with the company racking up market share gains especially in the fitness club segment. 2007 is a transitional year for home gym products, it added. A new product collection will be launched and Amer said it is expected to give a major boost to growth in 2008.

(Conversion of Euros into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Feb. 13.)

Life Time Fitness earnings rise on higher membership
Life Time Fitness (NYSE: LTM) reported a 16.9 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings as membership grew sharply.

Net income climbed to $14.1 million, or $0.38 per share, from $12.1 million, or $0.33 per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 35 percent to $139.3 million from $103.6 million a year ago and beat the Street's forecast of $138 million. Membership dues rose 34 percent and in-center revenue jumped 42 percent.

For the year, profit rose nearly 25 percent to $50.6 million, or $1.37 per share, while revenue jumped to $511.9 million from $390.1 million in 2005.

The company said it expects sharp gains in earnings and revenue in 2007 as it continues to open new gyms. It's projecting earnings to grow to between $1.71 and $1.74 per share from $1.37 per share in 2006. Full-year 2007 revenue is slated to come in between $640 million and $650 million, up from $511.9 million last year.

Copeland Sports files Chapter 11 liquidation plan
Unsecured creditors owed money by Copeland Sports will not recover much from the company, according to a liquidation plan filed Feb. 12 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

The San Luis Obispo-based retailer filed its most recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2006.

The filing said unsecured trade creditors -- represented by a committee made up of members from Nike USA, Callaway Golf Sales, TaylorMade Adidas Golf, New Balance Athletic Shoe and General Growth Properties -- will recover an estimated 0.2 percent to 1.9 percent on their claims. If additional cash surfaces after the liquidation of remaining assets, it will be turned over to the unsecured creditors.

Holders of Copeland's subordinated notes, owed about $13.8 million, will recover only 21 percent.

The company said it has already repaid its lenders using proceeds from the sale of most of its assets in November 2006. The sale to The Sports Authority gave Copeland the $21.7 million in cash to satisfy creditors. Unsecured debt was valued as high as $30 million, with secured debt at $11.4 million.

Most of Copeland's retail-store assets were bought by the now privately held TSA and were intended to be reopened in the spring under its name. Hilco Real Estate LLC was expected to acquire the leases on the remaining stores.

Copeland ran into trouble in December 2002 when it entered into a $35 million credit facility with the hope of expanding. Sales eventually flattened, and the company defaulted.

GSI's Q4 net income jumps, aided by tax benefit
GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC), a creator and operator of e-commerce websites, said its fourth-quarter net income climbed sharply, aided by a hefty tax benefit.

Quarterly earnings rose to $67.9 million, or $1.33 per share, from $11.7 million, or $0.25 per share, during the year-ago quarter. Excluding a $44.4 million cash benefit and including a stock-option expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles and the cumulative effect of an accounting change, earnings were $0.50 per share.

Revenue for the quarter was also up -- 49 percent to $257.2 million from $172.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, profit climbed to $53.7 million, or $1.10 per share, from $2.7 million, or $0.06 per share, in 2005. Revenue grew 38 percent to $609.6 million, from $440.4 million in 2005.

Additionally, the company reported that it expects earnings to decline in 2007, due to a tough comparison against a 2006 helped by a hefty tax benefit.

For the year, GSI expects earnings between $34 million and $39 million, along with revenue between $685 million and $735 million.

GSI also said it expects higher investment spending to cause a loss during the first three quarters of 2007, followed by high earnings in 2007.

The company sees a first-quarter loss between $5.5 million and $6.5 million, on net revenue between $128 million and $138 million.

Brunswick to sell New Technologies' marine electronics unit
Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC) has signed an agreement to sell Brunswick New Technologies' marine electronics operations to Navico International Ltd. The purchase will include the Northstar, MX Marine and Navman marine brands. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Completion of the sale is subject to regulatory approvals.

Puma Q4 profit down 26 percent
Fourth-quarter profit fell 26 percent for Puma AG (PUM.DE) as it tries to broaden its product base and expand into new regions.

Puma earned Euro 32.8 million (USD $43 million) in the last three months of 2006, down from Euro 44.1 million in the same quarter of 2005. Sales rose 38 percent to Euro 480 million (USD $629.7 million) from Euro 349.2 million a year ago.

For the year, Puma earned Euro 263.2 million (USD $345.3 million), down nearly 8 percent from Euro 285.8 million in 2005. Sales rose 33 percent to Euro 2.37 billion (USD $3.11 billion) from Euro 1.78 billion in 2005.

For the year, Puma posted strong sales in North and South America, with sales reaching Euro 724.1 million (USD $949.95 million), up 51.8 percent from 2005. In Asia and the Pacific, sales more than tripled to Euro 486.5 million (USD $638.24 million). In Europe, the Middle East and Africa sale increased 5.1 percent to Euro 1.15 billion (USD $1.51 billion).

The company's backlog of orders -- a key indicator for future sales performance -- was at Euro 1.12 billion (USD $1.47 billion) at the end of 2006, up 4.7 percent from Euro 1.07 billion in 2005.

The company said it expected sales and earnings in 2007 to increase in the higher single-digit figure range, largely on demand for its licensed products.

(Conversion of Euros into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Feb. 19.)

Nike announces stock split, declares dividend
Nike's (NYSE: NKE) board approved a two-for-one stock split of its class A and class B common shares. The split will be in the form of a dividend payable on April 2 to shareholders of record on March 12. After the split, outstanding shares of Nike class A stock will total about 118 million, while Class B shares increase to 387 million. Nike said it anticipates the stock trading at the split-adjusted price on April 3.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.37 per share on a pre-split basis. The dividend is payable on April 2 to shareholders of record on March 12.

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