Outdoor financials: Deckers Outdoor CFO resigns, plus Eddie Bauer, VF Corp., Cabela's, Amer Sports, Under Armour

Deckers Outdoor's CFO resigned, Eddie Bauer said it may violate loan terms, VF's CEO received $7.5 million in '08 compensation, Cabela's said its incoming CEO received 'employment inducement awards, Amer Sports scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting, and an analyst downgraded Under Armour.
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Deckers Outdoor CFO resigns

Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Nasdaq: DECK), the parent company of Ugg, Teva and Simple, announced that its chief financial officer, Thomas Hillebrandt, resigned March 20 to pursue other opportunities.

Deckers named Zohar Ziv chief operating officer, and said that Ziv—Deckers' former CFO—would serve as principal financial and accounting officer until a replacement is appointed.

Last month, Deckers’ fourth-quarter results exceeded market estimates, but the company forecasted a weak 2009.



Eddie Bauer says it may violate loan terms, Q4 loss widens


Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) raised doubts about its viability when it disclosed that it's in significant risk of violating the terms of a loan as early as the first half of fiscal 2009. Its shares dropped 40 percent on the news.

In order to avoid a "going concern opinion" from its independent registered public accountants, the company said it is seeking an amendment to a term loan agreement with $193 million owing. A going-concern opinion means the auditors cannot have reasonable assurances that a company will survive for the next fiscal period.

"We expect 2009 to be a very challenging, difficult year. While the amendment we are seeking is expensive, it will give us a new level of covenants with considerably more room on the downside through the first quarter of 2010," said Neil Fiske, Eddie Bauer's CEO, in a statement.

Eddie Bauer submitted two previous proposals to its amended term loan lenders, both of which were not approved, before reaching an agreement in principle on the current amendment terms. The amendment terms being discussed include upfront cash and payment-in-kind fees, a substantial increase in interest rates, as well as the issuance of warrants for its stock.

The company said it is trying to reduce it total debts, including a possible restructuring of its convertible notes issue or obtaining new capital to pay down existing debts.

Company shares lost more than 40 percent of their value on Mar. 19, falling $0.36, or 46.2 percent, to close at $0.42. The stock has traded as low as $0.30 and as high as $8.72 over the past year.

Also, Eddie Bauer released earnings for the fourth quarter and FY '08.

Total revenues for the quarter dropped 5.7 percent to $369.9 million compared to $392.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Comparable store sales fell 8.8 percent for the quarter.

Net loss for the fourth quarter increased by $109.3 million to $127.5 million, or $4.13 per share, compared to a net loss of $18.2 million, or $0.59 per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company was hit with $144.6 million in non-cash impairment charges, which was partially offset by a lower provision for income taxes.

Total revenues for the year decreased by 2.0 percent to $1.023 billion compared to $1.044 billion in 2007. Net loss increased to $165.5 million, or $5.38 per share, compared to a net loss of $101.7 million, or $3.33 per share, in 2007.



VF CEO receives $7.5 million in '08 compensation


In a filing with the SEC, VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) said Eric Wiseman, the company's chairman and CEO starting in 2008, received compensation valued at $7.5 million in 2008 -- about 22 percent less than his predecessor. VF is parent of The North Face and JanSport.

In 2008, Wiseman received a base salary of $950,000 and a cash bonus of $641,250, according the filing. He also received a performance-based bonus of $118,750. Other compensation totaled $79,733 and included $12,500 in matching contributions to a deferred savings plan, $10,900 for financial planning, $23,400 for a car allowance and $25,200 for tax gross ups.

The bulk of his award came as stock and option grants, which the company valued at $5.7 million on the date they were granted. The total includes options granted in February of 2008 that entitle Wiseman to buy shares at $79.50 per share.

His total compensation figure is a 72 percent increase from the compensation valued at $4.4 million Wiseman received in 2007, when he was president and COO.

Meanwhile, former CEO and Chairman Mackey McDonald, who retired in August, earned total compensation of about $1.5 million, down about 85 percent from 2007, when he was in charge of the company and earned $9.6 million.

Cabela's incoming CEO receives 'employment inducement awards'

In a filing with the SEC, Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) reported that Thomas L. Millner, who will take over as CEO and president on April 6, received stock-based awards consisting of 138,249 restricted stock units and options to purchase 111,720 shares of Cabela’s common stock. These awards were made in accordance with the employment inducement award exemption and were not awarded under any of the company’s stockholder approved equity plans, it added.

Amer Sports schedules Extraordinary General Meeting

Amer Sports, parent of Salomon, Arc'Teryx and Suunto, said it is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting on April 28 in response to shareholder Novator Finland Oy's demand that the meeting be convened. No agenda details were released.

The meeting will be held at Amer's headquarters in Helsinki, Finland. Invitation to the meeting will be published on April 7.

Analyst downgrades Under Armour

Under Armour (NYSE: UA) saw its status downgraded to “Below Average” from Average on Monday, with a Caris analyst saying that Wall Street's 2009 projections appear "too aggressive."

Most analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Under Armour to report profit of 82 cents per share and revenue of $798 million. Caris analyst Claire Gallacher said in a note to clients that previous estimates of a 10-percent revenue increase and 6.5-percent growth in earnings per share were too optimistic.

"By contrast, we estimate sales will increase 1 percent and earnings per share will remain relatively flat at 76 cents versus 77 cents reported in 2008," Gallacher told investors in a research note. Clothing retailers have been hit hard by the recession, and Gallacher said that in 2009 clothing sales could drop 3 percent, while shoe sales could rise 1 percent.

"Given the 75-percent to 80-percent mix of apparel revenue versus footwear and accessories, Under Armour is highly exposed to the apparel segment," the analyst said.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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