Outdoor financials: Luxottica’s Q4 profit rises 88 percent, plus Backcountry.com/Liberty Media and Big 5 earnings; Phoenix Footwear delisting

Luxottica Group, parent of Oakley, says its fourth-quarter net profit rose 88 percent. Plus, Backcountry.com parent's Q4 profit up and Big 5 posts lower Q4 sales, profit. Phoenix Footwear to delist.
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Luxottica’s Q4 profit rises 88 percent

Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX), parent of Oakley, said its fourth-quarter net profit rose 88 percent.

Net profit for the quarter increased to EUR 55.1 million (USD $75.7 million) from EUR 29.3 million (USD $40.2 million) a year earlier.

The company previously said net sales rose 14 percent to EUR 5.8 billion (USD $7.9 billion) in 2010, or an increase of 7 percent if foreign currency fluctuations are factored out.

Net sales of the wholesale division, which does half its business in Western Europe, rose 15 percent in January and February from a year earlier. The North American retail division sales rose 6 percent at stores open at least a year, it said.

The company is predicting double-digit-percentage growth in 2011. The company also anticipates a 20 percent increase in sales in emerging markets this year.

Luxottica's board also proposed a 2010 cash dividend of 44 European cents a share, up 26 percent from the previous year.

(Conversion of Euros into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Feb. 28.)

Backcountry.com parent Q4 profit up

Liberty Media Corp.’s Liberty Interactive group (Nasdaq: LINTA), parent company of online outdoor retailer Backcountry.com, reported slightly higher revenue and profit for the fourth quarter 2010 on Feb. 28.

The Englewood, Colo.-based media conglomerate’s Interactive group, which also includes QVC, Experia.com and others, reported revenue of $2.9 billion for the fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31, 2010 – up 6 percent from the same period a year ago. For the full year 2010, revenue rose 8 percent to $8.9 billion.

Liberty Interactive’s fourth-quarter 2010 adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) came in at $564 million – up 1 percent from a year ago. For the full year 2010, the company’s adjusted OIBDA rose 6 percent to $1.7 billion.

“The increase in revenue, adjusted OIBDA, and operating income for the year was primarily due to favorable results at QVC,” company officials said in a statement.

Liberty Interactive’s ecommerce business, which includes Backcountry.com, grew revenue 27 percent to $365 million for fourth quarter 2010 and 18 percent to $1.1 billion for the year. Adjusted OIBDA increased 38% to $47 million for the fourth quarter 2010 and decreased 8 percent to $103 million for the year.

Big 5 posts lower Q4 sales, profit

A challenging economy and variances in the weather resulted in lower fourth-quarter revenue and profit for Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV).

For the quarter ended Jan. 2, net sales were $226.7 million, compared to $237.6 million for the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Same store sales decreased 0.7 percent.

Net income for the quarter was $4.0 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, compared to net income of $6.4 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Big 5 said results for Q4 2010 included a net pre-tax charge of $2.3 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for lawsuits previously disclosed in the company's filings with the SEC. 2009 results included a net pre-tax charge of approximately $1.0 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, also related to legal matters.

For full-year 2010, net sales increased to $896.8 million from net sales of $895.5 million in 2009. Same-store sales increased 0.8 percent. Net income was $20.6 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, for fiscal 2010, compared to net income of $21.8 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in fiscal 2009.

For the fiscal 2011 first quarter, the company said it expects same-store sales in the negative low single-digit to positive low single-digit range and earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.15 to $0.22.

Also, the board has approved an increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend to $0.075 per share of outstanding common stock, for an annual rate of $0.30 per share.

Phoenix Footwear to delist from Amex

Phoenix Footwear Group, Inc. (Amex: PXG) announced Feb. 28 that it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist from the NYSE Amex stock exchange, anticipated for March 10.

Officials with the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, which makes comfort footwear brands Trotters, SoftWalk, and H.S. Trask, expects the company’s common stock will trade on the Pink OTC Market following the delisting.

The upcoming delisting, in plans from earlier this year, follows Phoenix Footwear’s Jan. 31, 2011 reverse and forward stock split, in which it paid out cash to its shareholders owning fewer that 200 shares of the common stock. That reduced the number of stockholders of record to fewer than 300, allowing the company to delist and suspend its SEC reporting obligations, simply its structure and reduce overhead costs.

The company “intends to continue making information available to stockholders and to observe corporate governance practice as may be required to maintain quotations on the Pink OTC Markets,” officials said in a statement.



--Compiled by Wendy Geister and David Clucas

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