Outdoor financials: Crocs posts Q4 loss on slow sales, plus Cabela's, Garmin, Rocky Brands

Crocs posted a Q4 loss on slow sales, gun sales saved Cabela's Q4, Garmin reported a Q4 decline, Rocky Brands reported a Q4 net loss, and Amer Sports said it explored a hybrid bond issue.
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Crocs posts Q4 loss on slow sales

Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) posted a fourth-quarter loss, saying it was affected by slowing sales and the negative effect of the stronger dollar on overseas revenue.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company reported a loss of $33.2 million, or $0.40 per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $38.3 million, or $0.45 per share. The company said excluding the effect of the stronger dollar on currency exchange rates, it lost $0.20 per share in the 2008 period.

Revenue plummeted 44 percent to $126.1 million from $224.8 million.

For the year, the company posted a loss of $183.6 million, or $2.22 per share, compared with a profit of $168.2 million, or $2 per share, in 2007.

Revenue dropped 15 percent to $721.6 million from $847.4 million, hurt by a nearly 27-percent drop in sales in the Americas and a 16-percent drop in European markets. Sales in Asia increased 22 percent to $204.9 million.

Crocs said its lowered inventory levels in fiscal 2008 by 42.3 percent to $143.2 million from $248.4 million at Dec. 31, 2007.

"While our fourth-quarter results were better than expectations, our year-over-year comparisons reflect the ongoing global economic slowdown that began approximately 12 months ago," said Ron Snyder, president and CEO, in a statement.

Looking ahead, the company said it would report a wider loss in its fiscal first quarter as consumers pull back on spending amid the recession. The company expects to report a loss between $0.17 and $0.32 per share for the period, including an estimated loss of $10 million linked to the stronger dollar's effect on sales abroad.

Crocs also forecast quarterly revenue between $110 million and $135 million for the period, down sharply from year-ago sales of $198.5 million.

Gun sales save Cabela's Q4

Fourth-quarter profit for Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) dropped 12 percent but it beat analyst estimates on strong sales of firearms.

For the quarter ended Dec. 27, net income fell to $49.4 million, or $0.74 per share, from $56.2 million, or $0.84 per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 1 percent to $879.4 million from $889.5 million, while analysts had anticipated revenue of $886 million. Same-store sales rose 2.2 percent in the quarter.

"We recorded our largest increase in same-store sales in over a year. Our improved retail execution with a particular emphasis on sales of firearms and related accessories, along with an aggressive merchandise strategy to take market share, increase inventory turns and improve cash flow, is working," said Dennis Highby, Cabela’s president and CEO, in a statement.

For the year, net income dropped 13 percent to $76.4 million, or $1.14 per share, from $87.9 million, or $1.31 per share. Revenue rose to $2.55 billion from $2.35 billion.

Cabela's said it expects 2009 revenue to decline slightly and earnings per share to be about equal to its 2008 results.

Garmin reports Q4 decline

Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) posted Q4 results that were lower than expected, with revenue of $1.048 billion, down 14 percent from a year ago.

The company saw a 17-percent drop in the automotive/mobile segment, which provides the majority of its revenues. Revenues were down 9 percent in North America, 26 percent in Europe and 17 percent in Asia.

Net income in the quarter fell to 78 cents a share, down from $1.39 a share the prior year, and below analyst estimates of 96 cents. The company said that, excluding one-time items, it would have earned 93 cents a share for Q4.

Gross margin in the quarter was 41.1 percent, down from 44.3 percent in Q3 and 41.8 percent a year ago.

Garmin said it reduced inventory in the quarter by $274 million. The company also said it believes it gained market share in the quarter.

The company declined to provide forward guidance, citing the current economic uncertainty.



Rocky Brands reports Q4 net loss


Caught up in the "current financial crisis," Rocky Brands (Nasdaq: RCKY), parent of the Rocky Outdoor Gear and Georgia Boot brands, among others, posted a net loss and a drop in sales for the fourth quarter.

The company reported a net loss of $2.2 million, or a loss of $0.41 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $23.6 million, or a loss of $4.31 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Results for the 2008 quarter included non-cash charges of $3.0 million, net of tax benefits, or a loss of $0.54 per diluted share, for the write-down of the Lehigh and Gates trademarks. Results for the fourth quarter of 2007 included a non-cash charge of $23.5 million, net of tax benefits, or a loss of $4.29 per diluted share, for goodwill impairment.

Excluding these charges, Rocky's net income was $0.7 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to a net loss of $0.1 million, or a loss of $0.02 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Net sales were $66.0 million versus net sales of $72.5 million in the same period last year. Wholesale sales for the fourth quarter were $49.4 million compared to $52.0 million for the same period in 2007. Retail sales were $15.4 million versus $19.0 million, and military segment sales were $1.2 million down from the $1.5 million in the same period of 2007.

Gross margin in the fourth quarter was $24.8 million, or 37.6 percent of sales, compared to $28.7 million, or 39.6 percent of sales, for the same period last year.

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 17.5 percent to $21.6 million, or 32.7 percent of sales, for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to $26.2 million, or 36.1 percent of sales, a year ago.

Income from operations, excluding the non-cash intangible impairment charge, was $3.2 million, or 4.9 percent of net sales for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to income from operations, excluding the impairment loss on the carrying value goodwill, of $2.5 million or 3.5 percent of net sales in 2007.

Inventory decreased $5.1 million, or 6.8 percent, to $70.3 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with $75.4 million on the same date a year ago.

For FY '08, net sales decreased 5.7 percent to $259.5 million versus net sales of $275.3 million in 2007. Net income was $1.2 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $23.1 million, or a loss of $4.22 per diluted share, in 2007.

Like the fourth quarter, full-year results were hit by the trademark and goodwill impairment charges. Excluding these charges, the company reported net income of $4.1 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, in 2008, compared to net income of $0.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in 2007.



Amer Sports explores hybrid bond issue, reports shareholder share capital


Amer Sports said it has mandated Nordea Markets to act as a sole bookrunner on a potential hybrid capital issue. The issue is expected to be launched in the near future, subject to market conditions. The size of the issue is EUR 50 million to EUR 75 million.



Hybrid bond is a bond that is subordinated to the company's other debt obligations and will be treated as equity in the IFRS financial statements. The dates of interest payment are at the issuer's discretion. Hybrid bond holding does not confer the right to vote at shareholder meetings and will not dilute the holdings of the current shareholders.

In other company news, Amer Sports said Danske Bank A/S Helsinki Branch's share capital and voting rights of Amer Sports will fall under 5 percent on Feb. 23, due to transaction completed on Feb. 18. Danske Bank A/S Helsinki Branch now holds zero shares in the company.



Amer Sports added that Novator Finland Oy has converted all of its Nasdaq OMX forward contracts into direct holdings in shares of Amer Sports on Feb. 18.



After settlement of the forward contracts concerning 7 million shares, Novator Finland Oy will directly hold 14.6 million shares representing 20.11 percent of the shares and voting rights in Amer Sports.



Amer Sports capital consists of 73 million shares in issue.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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