Outdoor financials: Dick's Sporting Goods reports Q4 loss on charges, plus Quiksilver, L.L. Bean, Collective Brands

Dick's Sporting Goods reported a Q4 loss on charges, Quiksilver's Q1 loss was bigger than expected, L.L. Bean's FY '08 sales dropped 7.8 percent, and Collective Brands posted a larger 4Q loss
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Dick's reports Q4 loss on charges

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) swung to a fourth-quarter loss hit by write-downs mostly related to its February 2007 acquisition of the Golf Galaxy chain.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, it reported a loss of $104.4 million, or $0.93 per share, compared with earnings of $73.2 million, or $0.62 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The latest quarter's results included a pretax non-cash impairment charge of $1.44 per share. Excluding the impairment charge and costs related to acquisitions, Dick's said it would have booked a profit of $63.4 million, or $0.55 per share.

Quarterly sales were down less than 1 percent to $1.21 billion.

Dick's said its sales benefited from the opening of new stores. Same-store sales -- which only look at sales for stores open at least one year -- dropped 8.6 percent during the period. Same-store sales fell 8.1 percent at Dick's flagship stores and 20.7 percent at its Golf Galaxy stores.

Dick's noted that it ended the quarter without any balance outstanding on its line of credit and reduced inventory per square foot by 14 percent at the end of the year.

For the full fiscal year, Dick's reported a loss of $35.1 million, or $0.31 per share, compared with a profit of $155 million, or $1.33 per share, the year before. Excluding one-time items, the company would have booked earnings of $138.9 million, or $1.19 per share.

Full-year sales rose 6 percent to $4.13 billion from $3.89 billion, mostly due to new store openings and the November 2007 acquisition of Chick's Sporting Goods. Same-store sales fell 4.8 percent for the year.

Looking forward, Dick's is forecasting weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings. It's predicting earnings of $0.01 to $0.06 per share, down from the $0.18 per share recorded in the year-ago period. Excluding merger and integration costs, Dick's expects adjusted earnings of $0.03 to $0.08 per share. It expects a same-store sales decline of 9 percent to 12 percent for the period ending in April.

For the full fiscal year, Dick's expects earnings to range from $0.80 to $1 per share, compared with $1.19 per share in the prior year. The company expects adjusted earnings between $0.77 and $0.97 per share. Same-store sales are expected to drop between 8 percent and 12 percent.

Dick's said it plans to reduce operating costs by roughly $50 million during the year through payroll, advertising and pre-opening expense reductions.

Q1 loss bigger for Quiksilver

Quiksilver's (NYSE: ZQK) first-quarter loss was larger than anticipated as it dealt with lower sales and a hefty loss from discontinued operations.

For the quarter, it reported a loss of $194.4 million, or $1.53 per share, compared to a loss of $21.9 million, or $0.17 per share, a year earlier. The latest quarter's results included a loss of $128.6 million related to the Rossignol winter sports business, which was sold in November and reported as a discontinued operation.

Sales declined 11 percent to $443.3 million from $496.6 million, partly because of a 13-percent decline in sales in the Americas.

It said European sales were hurt by changes in foreign currency exchange rates, adding that a stronger dollar makes its products more expensive to overseas customers.

The company said it expects second-quarter revenue will decline in the mid-teen percentage range and earnings per share are expected to be in the mid-single-digit range.

L.L. Bean FY '08 sales drop 7.8 percent

L.L. Bean's revenue for the fiscal year 2008 was down 7.8 percent from the previous year -- only the third time the company's annual revenue has dropped since 1960. The decline in sales in 2008 came in stark contrast to the previous year, when L.L. Bean finished the year with a 5.5 percent increase in sales.

Revenue for the company's fiscal year that ended late last month was $1.5 billion, and sales are expected to be down in 2009, as well, said Chris McCormick, president and CEO of privately held L.L. Bean, in a memo to employees.

The company has already imposed a wage freeze and had warned employees late last year of restructuring and potential layoffs as shoppers cut back on purchases made through L.L. Bean's website, catalogs and retail stores. It has also offered voluntary retirement incentives to reduce the scope of layoffs in 2009.

"We expect a further reduction in sales in 2009, and we will be forced to resize and restructure the business to match the projected decline in sales and work volumes. The 2009 budget, the most difficult in my career, strikes the appropriate balance of cost cutting while continuing to invest in our future," McCormick told employees in a memo.

The company said that no decision would be made on the number of layoffs until after the deadline for early-departure incentives expires in April.

In 2009, L.L. Bean is also scaling back the number of store openings this year from eight to two.



Collective Brands posts larger 4Q loss


Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS), parent of Hind and Saucony, said its fourth-quarter loss more than tripled as sales fell and it wrote down the value of its 2007 acquisition of the Stride Rite chain.

The company reported losing $144 million, or $2.28 per share, including a $130.2 million write-down linked to Stride Rite. The company also recorded $2.5 million in charges, not including insurance recoveries because of litigation. Last year, the company lost $46.6 million, or $0.73 per share, during the same period.

Not including one-time items, Collective Brands said it would have lost $0.55 per share in the latest quarter.

Quarterly revenue declined 5.4 percent to $735.2 million from $776.8 million. Same-store sales fell 6.6 percent during the quarter.

For the year, the company posted a loss of $68.7 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with a profit of $42.7 million, or $0.65 per share, in 2007. Not including one-time items, Collective Brands said it would have earned $1.12 per share.

Revenue for the year was up 13 percent to $3.4 billion.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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