Fitness financials: Shares sink as Brunswick cuts '06 guidance, plus Bally, Town Sports - SNEWS

Fitness financials: Shares sink as Brunswick cuts '06 guidance, plus Bally, Town Sports

Fitness financials: Brunswick cuts '06 guidance, shares drop. Pardus increases Bally stake shortly before poison pill expires. Town Sports completes partial redemption of outstanding debt securities

Brunswick cuts '06 guidance, shares drop
Life Fitness' parent Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC) saw its shares tumble to a three-year low after it cut its full-year earnings forecast in the wake of soft demand for its marine products.

Brunswick lowered its full-year guidance for earnings from continuing operations by about 20 percent to a range of $2.40 to $2.55 per share, far below the $3.06 per share estimate of analysts. The reduced earnings would represent a drop of 19 percent to 23 percent from last year's operating earnings of $3.13 per share.

Shares of Brunswick sank as low as $28.90 during trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 12 before closing at $29.55, down $2.28, or 7.2 percent.

The company also said it expects second-quarter earnings within range of its earlier guidance but slightly below analyst forecasts due to some weakness in the quarter. It expects quarterly earnings at $0.93 to $0.94 per share, compared with previous guidance of $0.90 to $0.97 per share.

On July 13, both Citigroup and AG Edwards downgraded Brunswick from "buy" to "hold." Citigroup said it doesn't see many major catalysts to move the share price for the next 12 months. RBC Capital Markets maintained a "sector perform" rating, but lowered its price target to $33 from $37, while Credit Suisse reduced its target price to $33 per share from $42 and maintained a "neutral" rating on shares.

Brunswick is scheduled to report second-quarter results July 27.

Pardus increases Bally stake shortly before poison pill expires
Shortly before the expiration of Bally Total Fitness' (NYSE: BFT) shareholder-rights plan, hedge fund Pardus Capital Management purchased more stock, raising its stake in the company to 14.5 percent.

Pardus is Bally's largest shareholder and had said in October that it was interested in increasing its stake to more than 15 percent. The expiration of Bally's interim anti-takeover tool, which would be triggered by any shareholder or group of shareholders accumulating more than 15 percent of the company's stock, paves the way for such an increase.

The recent purchases of Bally stock, which came after a two-month decline in the company's stock price, were the first by Pardus since February, shortly after its three candidates were elected to Bally's nine-member board, in effect ending a months-long proxy fight.

Ben Silverman, research director at, told the Wall Street Journal in a July 12 article that the falling stock price provided a good incentive for Pardus to resume its purchase of Bally shares while continuing to exert pressure on management to unlock shareholder value by pursuing a sale of the company.

"I think Pardus is not done with Bally," Silverman was quoted in WSJ. "The buying by Pardus signals that they must be gearing up for another round of fight. It may not be in the immediate future, but down the line."

Bally's shareholder-rights plan expired on July 15.

Town Sports completes partial redemption of outstanding debt securities
Town Sports International (Nasdaq: CLUB) said it has completed redemption of 35% of the original aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 11% Senior Discount Notes due 2014. The notes had an accreted value at the redemption date of $56.6 million. Following the redemption, the aggregate principal amount of the notes outstanding was $105.1 million, which it said represents the accreted value of such notes on the redemption date.

In other company news: On July 12, coverage on Town Sports was initiated by both Piper Jaffray and William Blair. Each brokerage gave the company an "outperform" rating.

For more information about this company or its financial reports, as well as to view stock prices updated every 15 minutes, visit the SNEWS® Stock Market Updates. Click on:


Fitness financials: Nautilus lowers Q1 guidance, share prices sink; plus Bally, Puma, Costco, Wal-Mart

Nautilus lowers Q1 guidance, share prices sinkNautilus (NYSE: NLS) lowered its first-quarter earnings guidance based on sluggish sales of its home fitness products in North America. For the first quarter, the company said it now expects earnings per diluted share of $0.08-$0.09 more

Fitness financials: Brunswick downgraded by research firm, plus Town Sports Int'l

Brunswick downgraded by research firm Brunswick (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness, was downgraded by Rochdale Securities on Sept. 15 from "buy" to "hold." Company shares dropped $0.60 to close at $9.39. Town Sports hires VP of sales and marketing Town Sports International more

Fitness financials: Town Sports drops IPO price, plus Bally, Cybex, Everlast, Costco, Finish Line, Wal-Mart

Town Sports drops IPO price, starts tradingAfter cutting the price of its initial public offering, Town Sports International Holdings (Nasdaq: CLUB) was a slow mover on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange on June 2. Town Sports, the third-largest U.S. fitness club operator, cut its planned more

Fitness financials: Brunswick shares drop after S&P cuts stock, plus Costco

Brunswick shares drop after S&P cuts stock Shares of Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness, dropped after a Standard & Poor analyst cut his rating on the company, saying the pace of the company’s recovery will be slower than expected. Standard & Poor’s analyst Erik more

Fitness financials: Town Sports swings to a loss in Q3, plus Sports Club, Iconix, Under Armour, GSI, Champion, Brunswick

Town Sports swings to a loss in Q3 Town Sports International (Nasdaq: CLUB) swung to a loss in the third quarter hampered by a lower membership count. Net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $1.5 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to net income of $3.8 million, or more

Fitness financials: Court dismisses Bally class action lawsuit, plus Life Time Fitness, Brunswick, Winmark, Sara Lee

Court dismisses Bally's class action lawsuit for alleged securities fraudBally Total Fitness (NYSE: BFT) said the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, dismissed a consolidated class action against the company and certain of its current and former officers for more

Fitness financials: Nautilus shares rise on analyst upgrade, plus Town Sports, Costco, Wal-Mart

Nautilus shares rise on analyst upgradeShares of Nautilus (NYSE: NLS) increased Jan. 8 after an analyst upgraded the stock, saying the company is less likely to miss sales estimates for the fourth quarter. Analyst Eric Wold of Merriman Curhan Ford upgraded Nautilus stock to more

Fitness financials: Brunswick’s Q2 revenue jumps 41 percent, plus Town Sports, Winmark

Brunswick’s Q2 revenue jumps 41 percent Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, said it swung to a profit in the second quarter -- the company's first reported profit in more than two years -- buoyed by better-than-expected sales from its core boat more

Fitness financials: Bally hires new auditor, plus Dick's, Foot Locker, Saucony, Brunswick, Hibbett, Kmart

Bally hires new auditorBally Total Fitness Holding Corp. (NYSE:BFT) has selected KPMG LLP as the its new independent auditor, replacing Ernst & Young LLP. Paul Toback, chairman, CEO and president of Bally, said of the May 18 announcement, "KPMG's broad experience, particularly in more