Outdoor financials: Gander Mountain revises '03 and '04 results, plus Johnson Outdoors, Rossignol, VF Corp., West Marine

Gander Mountain revises '03 and '04 results, Dolphin Limited continues to pursue Johnson Outdoors, offers $21.75 a share, VF execs get ample rewards, VF execs get ample rewards, West Marine lowers Q1 guidance
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Gander Mountain revises '03 and '04 results
As a result of revisions to its FY 2004 financial results and restating FY 2003 results, Gander Mountain Company (Nasdaq: GMTN) reported that its net income for fiscal 2004 increased to $1.6 million from $800,000, and net income for fiscal 2003 increased to $1.5 million from $700,000.

The revisions are a result of adjustments to its method of accounting for leases. The SEC has provided further guidance regarding the accounting for construction period and pre-opening lease expenses. As a result of this guidance, Gander Mountain has adopted an accounting policy to capitalize rent expense during the construction period into the cost of leasehold improvements. It will file the restated historical financial statements and related auditor's report required for the adjustments in its lease accounting in connection with the filing of its 2004 annual report on Form 10-K.

Dolphin Limited continues to pursue Johnson Outdoors, offers $21.75 a share
The dance continues as Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) declined a recent offer from Dolphin Limited Partnership I, L.P., to purchase approximately 1.5 million newly issued Class B common shares at $21.10, and Dolphin Limited has now upped the ante to $21.75 per share.

Dolphin Limited, a private investment partnership, holds approximately 300,000 shares, or 4 percent, of the Class A common stock of Johnson Outdoors. It is now raising its offer to purchase approximately 1.5 million newly issued Class B common shares from $21.10 to $21.75 per share, which will expire on April 21.

Donald T. Netter, senior managing director of Dolphin Limited, said in a letter to Johnson Outdoors: "We note that Dolphin's $32.7 million economic proposal is at a share price approximately 15 percent above the market and 8 percent above the $20.10/share recently offered in the unsuccessful going private transaction and represents approximately 20 percent of JOUT's current market capitalization."

Netter continued that "because certain members of JOUT's board of directors have actual or potential conflicts of interest in evaluating Dolphin's $32.7 million economic proposal, the 'independent' directors, consisting of Thomas F. Pyle, Jr., Terry E. London and John M. Fahey, Jr., (the same members of the Special Committee that evaluated the $20.10 going private transaction) should insist that the board form a special committee to evaluate Dolphin's material economic proposal and to make recommendations to the board."

Dolphin Limited said it has recently heard from other shareholders who also believe there is substantial value and growth opportunities in Johnson Outdoors that can and should be unlocked for all shareholders and constituents.

Rossignol to end buyback program
On the heels of its take-over, Skis Rossignol (SKIR.PA) said it was ending its share buyback program. Last month, Quiksilver agreed to take over Rossignol for 241 million euros (USD $310 million).

VF execs get ample rewards
With a ranking as the 841st largest company in the world by Forbes, VF Corp.'s (NYSE: VFC) top executives were compensated amply for the company's successful year. Mackey McDonald, VF's chairman, president and CEO, was paid a combined $3.2 million in salary, bonus and other cash compensation last year, a 44.1 percent hike from the prior year. The bonus alone was nearly $2 million, according to a filing with the SEC. Others who had notable hikes were: Eric Wiseman, vice president and chairman of the outdoor and sportswear coalitions, received a 56.2 percent increase to $1.3 million; Terry Lay, vice president and chairman of the jeanswear coalition, saw his pay rise 29 percent to $1.3 million; John Schamberger, vice president and chairman of cross-coalition management, was up 29.9 percent to $1.2 million; and Robert Shearer, vice president and CFO, was awarded a 36.8 percent hike to $1.1 million. VF reported income last year of $474.7 million on sales of $6.05 billion.

West Marine lowers Q1 guidance
Affected by cold, wet weather, West Marine lowered first-quarter guidance, citing a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly same-store sales, as well as reduced volume in its high-margin maintenance category. The company said sales at stores open at least one year fell 21.9 percent in the Northeast, while sales in the West dropped 4.9 percent. First-quarter same-store sales increased 1.4 percent in the Southeast. Total revenue fell 3 percent to $125.6 million. The company said it now forecasts a first-quarter loss of 26 cents to 27 cents a share, including a charge of 2 cents related to CEO hiring costs.

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