Outdoor financials: Better-than-expected results boost Columbia’s Q4 profit, plus Under Armour, LaCrosse

Columbia Sportswear said its fourth-quarter profit rose due to better-than-expected sales, while Under Armour said its Q4 profit jumped 83 percent, and LaCrosse Footwear reported a 21-percent increase in Q4 net sales.
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Better-than-expected results boost Columbia’s Q4 profit

Columbia Sportswear (Nasdaq: COLM) said its fourth-quarter profit rose amid higher sales of its brands, including Mountain Hardwear and Sorel.

The company earned $23.1 million, or $0.68 per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $18.6 million, or $0.55 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The 2008 quarter included impairment charges of $0.46 per share.

“Fourth quarter results were significantly better than our October outlook, primarily due to stronger than expected demand in our U.S. and international wholesale businesses, as well as in our expanded direct-to-consumer operations,” said Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Sales rose 1 percent to $358.3 million. It said sales increased in the United States, Asia and Latin America, where currency exchange rates provided a boost. But they fell in Canada and Europe despite exchange-rate benefits there.

By brand, quarterly sales results were:

>> Sorel, up 27 percent to $29.0 million

>> Mountain Hardwear, up 19 percent to $28.9 million

>> Columbia, down 2 percent to $298.6 million

>> Combined, net sales of Montrail and Pacific Trail brand products did not comprise a significant percentage of sales in the fourth quarter of either year.

For FY ‘09, net income fell to $67 million, or $1.97 per share, from $95 million, or $2.74 per share, in 2008. Revenue fell to $1.24 billion from $1.32 billion.

For the full year, sales for its brands were as follows:

>> Columbia, down 8 percent to $1.07 billion

>> Sorel, up 26 percent to $60.6 million

>> Mountain Hardwear, up 6 percent to $100.5 million

>> Montrail and Pacific Trail combined, down 18 percent to $10.4 million

Columbia said gains in direct-to-consumer sales and currency-exchange benefits will boost first-quarter sales 4 percent to 5 percent from the year-ago period --which suggest sales between $283 million and $286 million.



Q4 profit for Under Armour up 83 percent


Under Armour (NYSE: UA) said its profit jumped 83 percent in the fourth quarter on higher apparel and online sales.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, it earned $15.2 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to $8.3 million, or $0.17 per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose 24 percent to $222.2 million. The company said apparel sales rose 26 percent and online sales grew about 53 percent.

It added that its operating costs would exceed revenue growth in 2010 as it invests in marketing, online sales, product innovation and its supply chain.

For the full year, the company's profit rose 22 percent to $46.8 million, or $0.92 per share, compared to $38.2 million, or $0.76 per share, in 2008. Yearly revenue rose 18 percent to $856.4 million from $725.2 million.

Looking ahead, the company projected 2010 revenue and per-share profit will rise 10 percent to 12 percent over 2009 results. Assuming that level of growth and 2009 earnings per share of $0.92, 2010 profit may be in a range of $1.01 to $1.03 per share. Revenue in 2010 could rise to a range of $945 million to $960 million, it said.

LaCrosse posts 21 percent jump in Q4 sales

LaCrosse Footwear (Nasdaq: BOOT) reported a 21-percent increase in net sales as it experienced stronger at-once demand from new and longstanding retail channels during the fourth quarter.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, net sales were $42.5 million versus $35.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net income was $2.3 million or $0.36 per diluted share, up 96 percent from $1.2 million or $0.18 per diluted share in Q4 2008.

For the full year 2009, net sales were $139.2 million, up 9 percent from $128 million in 2008. Net income was $5.5 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, compared to $6.2 million, or $0.96 per diluted share.

Sales to the outdoor market were $17.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up 16 percent from the same period of 2008. The company said it was a result of stronger at-once demand during the quarter across a number of outdoor boot categories. For the full year 2009, outdoor sales were $51 million, down 4 percent from 2008, reflecting softness in the overall retail environment throughout the first three quarters of 2009.

Sales to the work market grew as the company continued expansion into various areas of the U.S. military. Sales were $25.2 million for the fourth quarter and $88.2 million for the full year of 2009, up 25 percent and 18 percent, respectively, from the same periods of 2008.

Gross margins were 38.4 percent of net sales for the fourth quarter and 38.9 percent for the full year of 2009, compared to 38.6 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively, in the same periods of 2008. For the full year 2009, operating expenses represented 32.7 percent of net sales, compared to 31.7 percent in 2008.

The company also noted that during 2009, it completed its new Midwest distribution center and transitioned its nationwide sales force into a dedicated in-house team.



--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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