Fitness financials: Cybex goes on a road show, plus The Sports Authority, Costco, Amer Sports, Sport Chalet, Brunswick

Cybex goes on its first road show in a few years, The Sports Authority hit by double whammy: president resigns Q1 net income down, Amer Sports sticks with 2004 guidance, Costco on a roll, Sport Chalet earnings up, Brunswick's new European structure.
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Cybex off on a road show
Cybex International (AMEX: CYB) will hit the road in its first tour directed at analysts and investors in a number of years. The company said it plans corporate-focused presentations in coordination with public relations firm, Porter, LeVay and Rose, which are open to investors and analysts interested in the Cybex story. Sponsored by the National Association of Stockbrokers and the Philadelphia Securities Association, these meetings will be held in five cities across the United States in the next 10 days: June 1, Boston, Mass.; June 2, Philadelphia, Penn.; June 3, New York; June 4, Palm Springs, Calif.; June 10, Washington, D.C. The luncheon meetings will be hosted by CEO and Chairman John Aglialoro and CFO Arthur Hicks. In the last quarterly call, it was noted by Aglialoro that with the company's return to profitability, it was time for management to get out and present the Cybex story to the investment community. More information is available by contacting Sue McGuire at Cybex, at 508-533-4300, ext. 8202.

The Sports Authority president resigns, Q1 net income down
The double whammy of The Sports Authority's (NYSE: TSA) resignation of its president and drop in first-quarter net income because of merger-related costs caused its stock price to fall on May 26.

The sporting goods retailer's President and Chief Merchandising Officer Elliott Kerbis resigned to spend more time with his family. Until a replacement is found, Vice Chairman and CEO Doug Morton will oversee Kerbis' duties. A search is underway for his replacement.

TSA's first-quarter net income was $4.07 million, or 15 cents a share, from $4.19 million or 34 cents a year earlier, adding that year-ago results reflect Gart Sports on a stand-alone basis. Excluding $5.2 million in merger-related costs, the company said net income rose to $9.29 million, or 35 cents a share, from $2.29 million, or 18 cents a share a year earlier. The year-ago quarter included a gain of about 16 cents per share related to an income tax benefit and other items.

Net sales rose to $572 million from $228.4 million as the company opened seven stores, closed five Sports Authority outlets and one former Gart Sports store during the quarter. First quarter same-store sales increased 0.3 percent from last year's combined company results, the company said.

TSA expects second-quarter sales to be about $630 million and same-store sales flat. It anticipates net income of $18.6 million, or 70 cents a share, excluding merger integration costs. The retailer plans to open 23 new stores during the year and close up to 15 stores, which would leave it with 392 stores in operation at the end of the year.

Amer Group stands by guidance
Amer Group, parent of Precor and ClubCom, has announced that its guidance for 2004 remains unchanged. According to CEO Roger Talermo at a presentation in Paris, Amer Group's sports equipment business' net sales and EBIT in local currencies are expected to be higher this year than in 2003 (excluding the 2003 patent litigation settlement with Life Fitness). Amer's next financial report is scheduled for Aug. 12 and will cover the first six months of the year. www.amersports.com

Costco on a high
Costco's (NasdaqNM: COST) profit for its latest quarter jumped 29 percent amid surging sales and membership fees. The retailer posted net income of $198.7 million, or 42 cents a share, for its fiscal third quarter ended May 9, compared with $153.8 million, or 33 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose 14 percent to $10.9 billion from $9.54 billion. Net sales also increased 14 percent to $10.67 billion from $9.34 billion, and membership fees climbed 13 percent to $224.5 million from $198.1 million. Same-store sales rose 11 percent.

Sport Chalet Q4 ends year strongly
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, Sport Chalet (Nasdaq: SPCH) sales increased 11 percent to $264.2 million from $238.0 million last year. The retailer reported that the increase is the result of opening three stores this year and two last year, in addition to a comparable store sales increase of 3.7 percent because of favorable weather.Â

Net income increased 9.3 percent from $4.2 million, or $0.60 per diluted share last year, to $4.5 million, or $0.65 per diluted share this year. Sales increased 19.2 percent from $58.2 million to $69.4 million. Net income increased 516.0 percent from $53,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, to $328,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, primarily due to increased sales and improved gross profit as a percent of sales, partially offset by increased workers' compensation expense and the effect of a stock award.

"Coming off a very tough first quarter, I am proud our team worked so hard to improve the results of the subsequent three quarters. The retail climate is improving, and we are capitalizing on this by continuing our expansion," said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO. Sport Chalet plans to open five new stores and remodel four stores during the year.

"Although accelerated depreciation on fixtures and equipment for stores to be remodeled will dampen profitability in the short term, our overall advancing growth should leverage our ongoing investment in infrastructure, ultimately reducing overhead expenses as a percent of sales. With the scheduled openings and remodels, 44 percent of our store base will be three years old or less," Levra said.

Sport Chalet's annual report will be available in late June.

Brunswick announces $150 million offering, new European structure
Life Fitness parent, Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), has announced the offering of $150 million aggregate principal amount of 5 percent notes due 2011 under a shelf registration statement previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov). The company said it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions and possible debt retirement.

In other recent Brunswick news, as we reported in our May 4 Fitness: Did You Hear?…, the company announced the formation of an umbrella organization to implement a comprehensive growth strategy for its marine operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and to leverage shared services opportunities for all of Brunswick's operations in those regions. Brunswick has now announced that the new organization will be headed by Victoria J. Reich, president, Brunswick European Group, and will be based in Brussels, Belgium.

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