Fitness financials: Puma’s FY ’09 results weakest in 60-year history, plus GSI Commerce, Foot Locker

Puma's finish to 2009 was weaker than expected, while GSI Commerce said QK Holdings has agreed to sell 9.24 million shares of GSI common stock, and Foot Locker's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend.
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Puma’s FY ’09 results weakest in 60-year history

Puma (PUMG.DE) posted a weaker-than-expected finish to 2009 and was tepid on its outlook for 2010.

"In light of the ongoing restrictive consumer environment and the overall global economic volatility, continued restrained consumer behavior is to be expected, which can affect sales in 2010," said CEO Jochen Zeitz in a statement.

Puma expects this year's sales to at least match last year's level, but aims for a clear improvement in net earnings in the absence of earlier restructuring costs.

Puma's fourth-quarter sales fell 12.8 percent to EUR 489.5 million (USD $670.1 million).

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to EUR 27.3 million (USD $37.3 million) from EUR 12.2 million (USD $16.7 million) previously. Earnings per share were EUR 1.08 (USD $1.47) versus EUR 0.60 (USD $0.82) last year.

For the full year, sales dropped 6.4 percent to EUR 2.6 billion (USD $3.5 billion) in 2009. In local currencies, it’s a 5.3 percent decrease.

EBIT dropped from EUR 326.4 million (USD $446.8 million) to EUR 184.1 million (USD $252.0 million), or from 12.9 percent to 7.5 percent as a percentage of sales. The decrease was a result of expenses from special items and taxes.

Net earnings were EUR 128.2 million (USD $175.5 million) compared to EUR 232.8 million (USD $318.7 million) last year. Earnings per share were EUR 8.50 (USD $11.63) versus 2008’s EUR 15.15 (USD $20.74).

With lower consumer spending, Puma said it experienced the worst economic downturn in its roughly 60-year history.

The company added that if the economy and consumer sentiment continue to improve, a gain in 2011 sales and earnings would be possible.

(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. 17.)



GSI Commerce stockholder to sell common stock


GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC), an e-commerce and interactive marketing services provider, said QK Holdings has agreed to sell 9.24 million shares of GSI common stock in a registered underwritten offering. QK Holdings is a subsidiary of QVC, which is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp.

Upon completion of the offering, QK Holdings will no longer own any shares of GSI's common stock. GSI will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering. Closing of the offering is expected on Feb. 22. The total number of shares of GSI common stock outstanding will not change as a result of this offering.

BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as the sole bookrunner for the offering.



Foot Locker declares quarterly dividend


Foot Locker’s (NYSE: FL) board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on the company's common stock of $0.15 per share. It is payable on April 30 to shareholders of record on April 16.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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