Nautilus shares rise on analyst upgrade
Nautilus (NYSE: NLS) stock jumped nearly 17 percent after an analyst upgraded the company, encouraged by better-than-expected first-quarter sales and cost control efforts.
Reed Anderson of D.A. Davidson said in a client note that Nautilus' sale of Pearl Izumi and initial cost-cutting efforts have strengthened its balance sheet, putting the company in position to possibly finish the year with little or no debt and positive cash flow. Anderson raised his rating to "Buy" from "Neutral" and lifted his price target to $7 from $4.25.
During the quarterly call on May 5, Anderson had inquired about how the cost cutting had occurred. CEO Edward Bramson noted it was paring back on trade shows sharply and that commissions were done because of lower sales also.
Nautilus said its quarterly revenue dropped to $129.6 million from $137 million, but the results topped the $121.2 million estimate of analysts.
Wedbush Morgan Securities' Rommel Dionisio agreed with Anderson and told clients that the company's brand strength, Bowflex equipment and international operations helped its performance. He reiterated a "Buy" rating and $6 price target.
Shares of Nautilus rose $0.76, or 16.6 percent, to $5.33 on May 6. Over the past year, the stock has traded in a range of $3 to $13.77.
Under Armour talks about future plans at annual meeting
Under Armour (NYSE: UA) told shareholders at the company's annual meeting that footwear has the potential to become a larger sales engine for the $600 million company than apparel.
During the meeting, the company shared plans to launch new footwear products, detailed its strategy to penetrate the European sports consumer market and downplayed concerns about how a slow retail economy might have an affect on Under Armour.
The company said it continues to build its pipeline of future products and is beefing up its distribution channels. While 96 percent of the company's revenue stems from the United States, it is focusing attention on expanding sales in Europe with a primary focus on the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
adidas posts 32-percent rise in Q1 profit
adidas (XETRA: ADS.DE) reported first-quarter profit jumped 32 percent, saying its acquisition of Reebok International provided more leverage with suppliers.
The company's net profit in the quarter rose to EUR 169 million (USD $261.27 million) compared with EUR 128 million (USD $198 million) a year ago helped by the group's strong operating margin improvement and lower supply costs. Its tax rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 32 percent in the first quarter compared with 32.4 percent in the first quarter a year ago.
Sales rose 3.1 percent to EUR 2.62 billion (USD $4.05 billion) in the period compared with EUR 2.54 billion (USD $3.94 billion) in the first quarter of 2007.
adidas said sales at adidas increased 14 percent on a currency neutral basis, while TaylorMade-adidas Golf sales increased 17 percent. Meanwhile, Reebok sales declined 6 percent in the first quarter.
adidas said its 2008 net profit was projected to grow by at least 15 percent in 2008 compared with 2007's EUR 551 million (USD $851.8 million). The company said it should see group sales increasing at a high single digit rate on a currency neutral basis, driven by growth in all brands.
(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 May 6.)
Puma's Q1 profit rattled by slow U.S. sales
Puma AG (XETRA: PUMG.DE) reported lower-than-expected first-quarter net earnings, mainly due to its weak U.S. business, but it confirmed its full-year outlook.
Puma said it still expects sales to rise by a single-digit percentage rate this year on a currency-adjusted basis, but its brand investments could affect its 2008 operating margin.
Puma said first-quarter net earnings fell to EUR 90.1 million (USD $139.5 million) from EUR 96.6 million (USD $149.9 million) a year earlier. Net sales rose 6.6 percent to EUR 673.3 million (USD $1.04 billion).
It said first-quarter sales fell in the Americas due to weak U.S. mall-based business while footwear growth was dragged down by the U.S. economic slowdown.
(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 May 7.)
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