Outdoor financials: Merrell's double-digit revenue growth contributes to Wolverine Q1 results, plus Forbes' CEO compensation ranking, Johnson Outdoors, Amer Sports, Oakley, Eddie Bauer

Merrell's double-digit revenue growth contributes to Wolverine Q1 results, Who ranks in Forbes' CEO compensation list?, Amer reports changes in segment reporting, Oakley restates 2005 results, reports 2006 Q1 sales, and Eddie Bauer amends loan agreement.
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Merrell's double-digit revenue growth contributes to Wolverine Q1 results
First-quarter profit for Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) rose 22 percent on strong results from across its brands, which include Merrell and Sebago shoes.

First-quarter earnings climbed to $19.6 million, or $0.34 per share, from $16.1 million, or $0.27 per share, during the same period in 2005. Earnings per share increased 25.9 percent. Quarterly revenue rose 7 percent to $262.8 million from $245.2 million a year ago. Results beat analysts' earning expectations of $0.30 per share on sales of $261.4 million.

Wolverine said all four of its major marketing groups contributed to the profit improvement in the quarter and each posted double-digit earnings gains. It also noted that results included the impact of its continued investment in Patagonia Footwear and Merrell Apparel initiatives which are on track and progressing toward their respective spring 2007 and fall 2007 launches.

"The Merrell brand continued its momentum as our leading sales and profit driver. In the quarter, the global Merrell business recorded double-digit revenue growth in the high teens while earnings grew at an even greater rate," said Timothy O'Donovan, the company's chairman and CEO. "Earnings improvements were balanced globally with Merrell's U.S., Canadian, European and international distributor businesses all reporting double-digit increases. Additionally, the company's overall European business generated strong profits in the quarter as both revenue and earnings grew at a double- digit pace."

Wolverine also boosted its 2006 earnings per share estimate to the upper half of a previously announced $1.34 to $1.40 per share range based on margin strength and consumer demand. The company reaffirmed its revenue target of $1.11 billion to $1.13 billion for the year.

Separately, Wolverine's board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.075 per share of common stock, payable on August 1, 2006, to stockholders of record on July 3, 2006. The dividend is equal to the last quarterly dividend and represents a $.30 per share annual dividend, the company said.

Who ranks in Forbes' CEO compensation list?
It's good to be the king, or the CEO in the case of Forbes' ranking of the compensation packages among America's 500 biggest companies. Forbes reported that chief executives received an aggregate 6 percent pay raise in 2005 (as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value), a paltry sum when compared to their 54 percent pay raise in 2004. In total, America's top executives earned a healthy $5.4 billion last year, Forbes said. Relating to the outdoor industry, here's who made the list:

  • Paul Charron, CEO of Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ), parent of Prana, ranked No. 255 with a total 2005 compensation of $5.45 million. In the last five years, his compensation total was $37.72 million. Charron, 63, has been with the company for 12 years and CEO for 11 years, and ranks No. 5 within Forbes' household and personal products category.
  • Mark Parker, CEO of Nike (NYSE: NKE), ranked No. 294 with a total 2005 compensation of $4.16 million. Parker, 50, has been with the company for 27 years but has held the CEO reins for less than six months. He ranks No. 7 in Forbes' household and personal products category.
  • Mackey McDonald, CEO of VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC), parent of The North Face, JanSport, Eastpak and Vans, ranked No. 369 with a total 2005 compensation of $2.93 million. In the last five years, McDonald's compensation total was $16.84 million. McDonald, 59, has been with the company for 23 years -- CEO for 10 years -- and ranks No. 10 within Forbes' household and personal products category.

Johnson Outdoors' president/COO resigns
Jervis Perkins has resigned as president and chief operating officer of Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) to pursue other interests. Perkins has served as the COO since January 2003 and as president and COO since December 2004. He will remain in his current role through May 5 to assist in the transition. Johnson Outdoors said it has no plans to fill the position left vacant by his departure at this time.

Amer reports changes in segment reporting
Amer Sports said it has revised its segment reporting and is in line with the company's current organization structure and management reporting. The redefined business segments are Salomon, Wilson, Precor, Atomic and Suunto. Additionally, Salomon has been divided into the following business areas: Winter Sports Equipment, Apparel and Footwear as well as Mavic. Wilson's business areas are Racquet Sports, Team Sports and Golf. Net sales figures will be reported for these business areas, Amer said. The Group's geographical segments will remain unchanged: the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia-Pacific (including Japan and Australia).

Oakley restates 2005 results, reports 2006 Q1 sales
Oakley (NYSE: OO) restated its financial results for its first three quarters of 2005, increasing its reported net income after correcting for errors in its accounting for foreign currency hedging. The following day it reported results for the 2006 first quarter.

Net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 was restated to $16.07 million, or $0.23 a share, from $14.97 million, or $0.22 a share. Net income for the second quarter ended June 30 was restated to $24.04 million, $0.35 a share, from $20.32 million, or $0.30 a share. Net income for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005, was restated to $9.97 million, or $0.15 a share, from $7.36 million, or $0.11 a share. The restatement had no impact on the company's previously reported net sales or cash flows, according to the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Oakley reported on April 20 that its first-quarter net sales increased 7.0 percent, to a first quarter record $151.7 million compared with $141.8 million in the same period of 2005. Net income for the first quarter totaled $1.9 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared with net income of $10.0 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, earned in the first quarter of 2005.

Eddie Bauer amends loan agreement
Eddie Bauer Holdings (EBHC.PK) has entered into an amendment and waiver of certain provisions under its $300 million senior secured term loan agreement, with JPMorgan Chase Bank as administrative agent. It has also obtained a waiver of certain provisions under its senior secured revolving credit facility, with Bank of America as agent. Eddie Bauer said the funds will provide it with additional flexibility to pursue its turnaround strategy. As a result of the amendment to the term loan, Eddie Bauer added that interest rate spreads under the term loan will be adjusted in varying amounts over the life of the loan.

Also, Eddie Bauer reportedly has hired Goldman Sachs as a financial advisor to help it explore options for selling the company, and potential bidders include strategic and private equity firms.

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