Fitness financials: Nike adopts new board election standards, plus Big 5, Wal-Mart

Fitness financials: Nike changes board election rule, declares dividend. Big 5 declares dividend. Wal-Mart posts record Q4.
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Nike changes board election rule, declares dividend
Nike (NYSE: NKE) said it has adopted a majority voting standard for the election of directors, beginning with its next election in September.

Previously, the company's directors were elected using a plurality system, where the candidate with the most votes could win regardless of the number of votes withheld. Now a majority vote requires that directors receive a majority of the shareholder votes cast. A director who receives a greater number of withheld than positive votes would tender his resignation. A board committee would then decide whether he stays or goes within 90 days. Many companies are now adopting this standard.

Separately, the board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.31 per share on the company's outstanding Class A and Class B Common Stock payable April 3, 2006, to shareholders of record at the close of business March 13, 2006. The dividend is the same as the previous quarter, but up 24 percent from the $0.25 dividend the company previously offered in 2005.

Big 5 declares dividend
The board of directors of Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV) has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.07 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on March 15, 2006, to stockholders of record as of March 1, 2006.

Wal-Mart posts record Q4
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales were $89.3 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. Net income for the quarter was $3.6 billion, an increase of 13.4 percent from $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. Earnings per share were $0.86, up from $0.75 per share in the same prior year quarter.

Net sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006, were $312.4 billion, an increase of 9.5 percent over fiscal 2005. Net income for fiscal 2006 increased 9.4 percent to a record $11.2 billion, up from $10.3 billion in fiscal 2005. Earnings per share for fiscal 2006 were $2.68, up from $2.41 in fiscal 2005.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, the Wal-Mart Stores segment had an operating income of $4.714 billion, an increase of 11.1 percent, compared with $4.242 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. For the year, the segment had an operating income of $15.324 billion, an increase of 8.2 percent, as compared to $14.163 billion in fiscal 2005.

Total U.S. comparable sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 increased 3.1 percent, which is represented by a 2.7 percent increase for the Wal-Mart Stores segment.

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