Outdoor financials: Johnson Outdoors reports Q4 loss, to cut costs, plus Gander Mountain, Liberty Media

Johnson Outdoors reported a Q4 loss, Gander's Q3 same-store sales dropped 6.5 percent, and Liberty Media announced that its senior notes tender offer expired.
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Johnson Outdoors reports Q4 loss, to cut costs

After swinging to a large fourth-quarter loss, Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) said it has cut about 90 job positions and plans to cut spending and suspend its quarterly dividend in response to the global economic slump, which is hurting sales of boats and other products.

The company said it is looking to reduce operating costs and spending by more than $30 million, including $20 million in cost-saving projects and reducing capital expenditures.

It has eliminated about 7 percent of its jobs, and will freeze wages and suspend its quarterly dividend. The company also is in breach of the net worth covenant in its debt agreements, and is working with its banks to amend the agreements.

Johnson Outdoors said it swung to a large loss in the fourth quarter, as the U.S. recession and accompanying economic weakness led the company to write down the value of its assets by $41 million, and sales in most of its product categories were weakened by "the rapid and steep economic downturn."

For the three months ended Oct. 3, it posted a loss of $74.6 million, or $8.18 per share. That compares with a year-ago profit of $942,000, or $0.10 per share. Revenue dipped 6 percent to $81.8 million from $87.3 million, as sales in the marine-electronics business and watercraft business each fell 11 percent, and diving revenue also decreased.

Outdoor-equipment revenue edged up to $10 million from $9.4 million, as the company said it saw some growth in the military, commercial and consumer sectors. But it reported $29.5 million in marine-electronics revenue, down from $33 million a year ago, and watercraft revenue slipped to $16.3 million from $18.4 million. Diving revenue declined 3 percent to $26 million from $26.8 million, due to unfavorable foreign-currency exchange.

For the full year, the company lost $71 million, or $7.81 per share, compared with a profit of $9.2 million, or $1 per share, a year ago. Full-year revenue came to $420.8 million, down 2 percent from the previous year.

Johnson Outdoors employs about 1,340 people, and announced the elimination of 60 jobs in fiscal 2008 after relocating a manufacturing facility and downsizing a Binghamton, N.Y., plant that made military tents.

The company's third-quarter dividend was 5.5 cents for holders of Class A shares and 5 cents for holders of Class B shares.

Gander Q3 same-store sales down 6.5 percent

Gander Mountain (Nasdaq: GMTN) reported a 4-percent increase in third-quarter sales, boosted by its direct marketing business. Comparable-store sales decreased 6.5 percent in the third quarter.

For the quarter ended Nov. 1, sales were $269.9 million. The 2008 period included $14.4 million in revenue due to the expansion of its direct marketing business through Overton's.

Net income for the third quarter was $0.77 million, or $0.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.1 million, or $0.25 per share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

On retail segment sales of $256 million, a 1.6-percent decrease, retail segment net income increased to $3.7 million compared to a net loss of $5.1 million for the comparable quarter of fiscal 2007.

Retail segment SG&A costs improved $7.9 million, or 272 basis points as a percentage of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2008. The company said the gain was due to cost reductions in both store operating and general and administrative expenses. Included in consolidated SG&A expenses were $8.0 million in expenses related to the direct segment, thus consolidated SG&A expenses were flat year over year.

Liberty Media senior notes tender offer expires

Liberty Media (Nasdaq: LCAPA, LINTA) said its cash tender offer of 8-1/2 percent senior debentures due 2029 and 8-1/4 percent senior debentures due 2030 has expired.

Liberty Media LLC is an intermediate holding company of Liberty Media Corp., which owns a variety of interests including Backcountry.com.

On Nov. 3, Liberty commenced a tender offer for the maximum aggregate principal amount of debentures it could purchase for $285 million at a purchase price per $1,000 principal amount determined in accordance with the procedures of a modified "Dutch Auction." The debentures are attributable to the Liberty Interactive tracking stock group.

Based on the final tabulation by GBSC, the tender offer was oversubscribed, with Liberty receiving valid tenders from holders of approximately $242.2 million aggregate principal amount of 8-1/2 percent debentures and approximately $390.9 million aggregate principal amount of 8-1/4 percent debentures. Because the aggregate amount of debentures validly tendered and not withdrawn as of the expiration date at the clearing premium would have caused Liberty to spend more than $285 million to purchase such debentures, Liberty has accepted debentures validly tendered in the tender offer on a prorated basis.

All debentures purchased in the tender offer will be retired. All debentures tendered but not purchased, including debentures not purchased because of proration, will be returned to the holders at Liberty's expense and will remain outstanding.

Liberty retained Citi and Deutsche Bank Securities to serve as dealer managers for the tender offer, and GBSC to serve as the depositary and information agent.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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