Investors return to fitness: Nautilus regains NYSE compliance

Fitness equipment companies are recapturing their respect on Wall Street. On Monday, Nautilus Inc. regained its compliance with NYSE, a month after Cybex made good with the Nasdaq. Investors have sent both stocks up significantly in 2012.

Fitness equipment companies are recapturing their respect on Wall Street.

On Monday, Nautilus Inc. (NYSE:NLS) announced that it had regained compliance with the New York Stock Exchange’s listing standards after seeing an increase its market capitalization.

Nautilus CEO Bruce Cazenave, who came aboard in May 2011, said the company has improved profitability by introducing new products and reducing overhead costs.

Two weeks ago, Nautilus officials said the company finished 2011 with sales up 7.1 percent to $180.4 million for the full year, while it swung to a yearly profit of $1.4 million, versus a loss of 22.8 million in 2010. Higher sales of bikes and ellipticals at retail and its TreadClimber product through direct channels fueled the improvement, Cazenave said.

Nearly two years ago, the NYSE warned Nautilus that it wasn’t in compliance with the market’s listing standards relating to minimum average global equity market capitalization and total stockholders' equity, either of which needed to be above $50 million over a consecutive 30-day trading period.

With its recent improved performance and increased stock price, Nautilus officials said the company’s average global market capitalization stood at $83 million as of March 23, helping it regain compliance.

The news comes a month after fellow fitness equipment manufacturer Cybex (Nasdaq:CYBI) regained its market compliance in late February. The company had faced a possible delisting from the Nasdaq with its stock price below $1 per share and its stockholders’ equity less than $10 million. That all changed after early February when Cybex announced a lawsuit settlement, which had plagued its balance sheet for the course of nearly two years. A strong earnings finish for Cybex in 2011 helped as well.

Wall Street investors are cheering the recent news for both companies. Year-to-date, through March 26, Nautilus shares are up 62 percent to more than $2.80 per share, and Cybex share are up a whopping 450 percent to more than $2.30 per share.

--David Clucas



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