Outdoor financials: Kellwood reports lower Q1 profit, plus Gander Mountain, Eddie Bauer, Cabela's, Johnson Outdoors

Kellwood reported lower Q1 profits, while expenses dragged Gander Mountain down in Q1, Eddie Bauer's Q1 was rocky after an attempted product shift, Cabela's received $53 million from refinancing,and Johnson Outdoors received a military tent order.

Kellwood reports lower Q1 profit
Kellwood (NYSE: KWD), parent of Sierra Designs and Kelty, posted a 22 percent fall in first-quarter net income after lower sales and higher charges.

First-quarter earnings were $9.2 million, or $0.36 per share, compared to $11.8 million, or $0.43 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding discontinued operations and one-time items, earnings were $5.1 million, or $0.20 per share, compared with $15.1 million, or $0.54, a year earlier.

Sales totaled $516.9 million, down from $553.5 million last year.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $0.15 per share on sales of $482 million.

"Our first-quarter results were ahead of earlier guidance. Sales from each of Kellwood's three business segments exceeded expectations, resulting in operating earnings before expensing stock options of $16 million, which was the upper end of the range previously given," said Robert C. Skinner Jr., chairman, president and CEO, in a statement,

For the second quarter, the company said it expects earnings of $0.30 per share on sales of $480 million -- analysts are predicting $0.17 on sales of $473 million. For the year, it's still targeting $2 billion in sales, with earnings per share of $1.75 -- analysts expect earnings of $1.62 on sales of $1.98 billion.

In other company news, Gregory W. Kleffner was named Kellwood's senior vice president finance and controller at the company's board meeting. Formerly, Kleffner was vice president finance and controller. He joined Kellwood as vice president controller in 2002, and was named corporate vice president finance in June 2005.

Also, Martin (Marty) Bloom retired from the Kellwood board of directors. He had been a board member since 2000, served on the audit committee since 2000, and the compensation committee since 2003. A search is underway for a new board member.

Expenses drag Gander Mountain down in Q1

Gander Mountain (Nasdaq: GMTN) suffered a higher first-quarter loss and blamed it on a seasonally weak quarter and a higher number of stores. It reported a net loss of $23 million, or $1.61 per share, versus a prior-year loss of $17.6 million, or $1.23 per share.

The company said it didn't record a tax benefit in calculating the quarter's results. If it had, it would have reported a net loss of $0.97 per share, compared with a net loss of $0.74 in the year-earlier period.

Sales increased to $155.6 million, an increase of 15 percent over the first quarter of fiscal 2005. Same-store sales decreased 10.4 percent.

Gander Mountain said many of its stores are unprofitable in the seasonally small first quarter. It also attributed the quarter's increased loss on having an average of 16 additional stores open during the period.

By the end of April, it had 99 stores, and said it plans to open eight new stores in 2006.

Eddie Bauer's Q1 rocky after attempted product shift

Eddie Bauer Holdings financial results for the first quarter took a beating after shifting its focus from the company's core customers in an attempt to attract a younger clientele with its fall and holiday apparel lines.

Total revenues were $194.5 million, compared to $221.9 million in the first quarter of 2005. The biggest hit was on net merchandise sales, which dropped $26 million to $180.6 million this quarter. Same-store sales also declined by 10 percent.

Eddie Bauer said it would return its focus to the "modern outdoor lifestyle," with apparel designed to appeal to and fit its core customers, ages 30 to 54. Its fall and holiday apparel lines did poorly despite the company's efforts to redesign its offerings to inject more fashion into its products, using more expensive materials.

"We learned a valuable lesson and we're moving forward aggressively to get our business back on track," CEO Fabian Månsson told analysts during a conference call.

To return its stores to profitability, the company will move all its stores to a 5,500-square-foot format, either by renegotiating lease agreements or by moving to new locations, and it will make better use of its customer database, which includes 4.5 million households that have purchased an item online in the past 12 months. In addition, the company will renew its focus on the outerwear category.

Due to lengthy lead times to introduce changes to its apparel line, the company said it expects lower full-year financial results versus the year before.

The company's net loss for the first quarter of 2006 was $35.6 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $8.6 million in the first quarter of 2005. Per share amounts have not been reported for the first quarter of 2005, because the Company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Spiegel at that time, and there were no shares outstanding for the combined Eddie Bauer entity.

Gross margin for the quarter was $48.6 million, representing a decrease of $21.5 million from the pro forma gross margin in 2005. Gross margin percentage declined to 26.9 percent from a pro forma gross margin of 33.9 percent the year before. The company said the chief reason for the decline was the higher level of markdowns taken in order to drive merchandise sales.

As of April 1, the company operated 373 retail and outlet stores in total, consisting of 265 retail stores and 108 outlet stores.

Cabela's receives $53 million from refinancing
Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) has collected $53 million after refinancing a portion of its economic development bonds held by the company for its Wheeling, W.Va., location. The total was the amount collected by the company through the refinancing, not net proceeds, it said. Cabela's added it often buys economic development bonds from states or municipalities that finance infrastructure projects near company stores. The interest on the bonds is paid in part by future taxes generated by the stores.

Johnson Outdoors receives military tent order

Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) received a $1.6 million tent order from the military with anticipated delivery in the second half of calendar 2006. As a result of this order, the company has now received 11 separate orders totaling $19.1 million awarded under the multi-vendor, multi-product contract announced in September 2005. At this time, Johnson Outdoors said it continues to expect fiscal 2006 military sales to be in the $35 million to $40 million range.

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