Outdoor financials: Deckers pays off debt, plus Phoenix, Sport Chalet

Deckers using proceeds from stock offering to pay off all outstanding loans, Phonenix Footwear seeking to aquire boot manufacturer, and Sport Chalet sales up 11 percent in 4Q.
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Deckers pays off $27 million debt
Using a portion of the proceeds from a stock offering, Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Nasdaq: DECK) has repaid all of its outstanding loans, the company reported on May 26. The common stock offering closed on May 18.

With the net offering proceeds of $35.2 million, the company paid down the $7 million subordinated note issued to the Peninsula Fund III Limited Partnership, the $7 million term loan from Comerica Bank, and the $13 million junior subordinated note issued to Mark Thatcher and his company, Teva Sports Sandals Inc., for the acquisition of the worldwide Teva patents, trademarks and other assets in November 2002. Remaining proceeds from the offering will be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

As a result of the debt repayment to Thatcher, Deckers said that John Kalinich, who served on its board of directors as the nominee of Mark Thatcher, has fulfilled his contractual obligation and will step down from the board immediately. Kalinich will remain a full-time employee of Deckers and retain his position as vice president and director of retail and licensing.

Royal Robbins parent eyeing boot manufacturer
Phoenix Footwear Group (AMEX: PXG), parent of Royal Robbins, is engaged in discussions regarding a possible acquisition of Altama Delta Corp., a privately held Atlanta, Ga., manufacturer of boots for the military and commercial markets. For the 12-month fiscal year ended Sept. 27, 2003, Altama Delta had net sales of $31.6 million. Phoenix Footwear indicated that discussions were continuing and that no agreements relating to the transaction have been signed by the parties other than an exclusivity agreement. There are a number of conditions that must be satisfied before the transaction could be concluded, and there is no assurance that a transaction will be accomplished.

Sport Chalet Q4 ends year strongly
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2004, Sport Chalet (Nasdaq: SPCH) sales increased 11 percent to $264.2 million from $238.0 million last year. The retailer reported that the increase is the result of opening three stores this year and two last year, in addition to a comparable store sales increase of 3.7 percent because of favorable weather.Â

Net income increased 9.3 percent from $4.2 million, or $0.60 per diluted share last year, to $4.5 million, or $0.65 per diluted share this year. Sales increased 19.2 percent from $58.2 million to $69.4 million. Net income increased 516.0 percent from $53,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, to $328,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, primarily due to increased sales and improved gross profit as a percent of sales, partially offset by increased workers' compensation expense and the effect of a stock award.

"Coming off a very tough first quarter, I am proud our team worked so hard to improve the results of the subsequent three quarters. The retail climate is improving, and we are capitalizing on this by continuing our expansion," said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO. Sport Chalet plans to open five new stores and remodel four stores during the year.

"Although accelerated depreciation on fixtures and equipment for stores to be remodeled will dampen profitability in the short term, our overall advancing growth should leverage our ongoing investment in infrastructure, ultimately reducing overhead expenses as a percent of sales. With the scheduled openings and remodels, 44 percent of our store base will be three years old or less," Levra said.

Sport Chalet's annual report will be available in late June.

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