Outdoor financials: Moody's lowers rating outlook for Jarden , plus VF - SNEWS

Outdoor financials: Moody's lowers rating outlook for Jarden , plus VF

Moody's lowered the rating outlook for Jarden, and VF said it plans layoffs based on the weak economy.
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Moody's lowers rating outlook for Jarden

Moody's Investors Service lowered its rating outlook for Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH) to stable from positive on the company's 2009 revenue guidance and expectations that discretionary spending will be hurt in the weakening economy.

Moody's also said consumer spending will be hurt given the "accelerating uncertainty in both the capital market and job market." It said that weakness in consumer spending will pressure the company's operating performance.

Last week, Jarden predicted fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $1.3 billion. The company added that it expects more than $5 billion in revenue for the year.

The company said it expects that most of the categories it serves would shrink during the year. But it said it would see jumps in revenue from market share growth that would offset the shrinkage of the overall market.

Moody's affirmed all of Jarden's ratings. But the lowered outlook means Moody's believes that a rating upgrade is unlikely in the next year to year and a half, "due to the expected moderation in the company's operating performance in the midst of the severe uncertainty in the economy," said Kevin Cassidy, senior credit officer at Moody's Investors Service, in a client note.

Jarden owns Coleman, Campingaz, K2, Marmot and ExOfficio.

VF plans layoffs based on weak economy

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC), parent of The North Face, JanSport and Eagle Creek, among others, reported that it is laying off an unspecified number of employees as it expects economic weakness to continue in the next year.



The company noted in a news release that it did not want to say how many jobs it would be cutting, pending notification of employees. The company has about 46,000 globally, and reportedly the number of layoffs is said to be small.

VF said the cuts would be felt across its units. Its jeanswear and services groups, both based in Greensboro, N.C., have decided to reduce some positions there and elsewhere.

The company said it was strong financially and its business and brands were healthy, but the cuts would help it plan for tighter budgets in 2009.

It's offering severance packages to all laid-off employees, including outplacement assistance and other benefits.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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