Outdoor financials: Piper Jaffray maintains outperform rating for Deckers, plus Gander Mountain, VF, Kellwood

Piper Jaffray maintains Deckers rating, sets $30 price, Gander Mountain names board vice chair, Retiring VF executive asked to sign non-compete agreement, Kellwood expands Q3 earnings release.
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Piper Jaffray maintains Deckers rating, sets $30 price
After meeting with company managers, Piper Jaffray research analyst Jeffrey Klinefelter said he is maintaining an "outperform" rating and $30 price target on Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK) and expects the Ugg boot brand to be a holiday favorite. He added that the strong demand for Ugg product across a broad assortment of styles is an indication that Ugg is becoming a strong brand versus a "hot" trend in just one boot style.

Deckers is reporting strong sell-throughs across its assortment of UGG slippers, clogs and boot styles. The company also said it plans to open a "design studio" in Italy in fiscal 2006 with the aim of adding higher-price-point luxury Ugg styles, which Klinefelter believes will reinforce a "halo effect" over the Ugg brand.

Deckers told the analyst that it is also repositioning its Teva brand to capture the higher-end business it recently ceded to niche brands, and its Simple brand has the potential to be much larger and eventually surpass Teva and Ugg in size.

"In view of what we perceive to be continuing strong demand for Ugg products and category growth potential in the company's Teva and Simple brands, we believe Deckers has the potential to post bottom-line growth of 15 percent in the long term, once current issues are behind them," said Klinefelter.

Gander Mountain names board vice chair
David Pratt has been elected to the Gander Mountain's (Nasdaq: GMTN) board of directors and will fill the newly created position of vice chairman of the board. Pratt, the former chairman, president and CEO of United Industries, has been a director of Gander Mountain since August 2005. A trust for his benefit owns 1.4 million shares of Gander Mountain common stock and $20.0 million of the company's subordinated convertible debt.

Retiring VF executive asked to sign non-compete agreement
VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) disclosed in an SEC filing that it has an agreement with a retiring top executive, John P. Schamberger, vice president and chairman of cross coalition management, that prohibits him from working for certain competitors and from hiring VF employees for two years after leaving the company. If he complies with the non-compete agreement, Schamberger will continue to receive salary and medical benefits for two years following his retirement. According to public records, Schamberger, who has worked for VF for 34 years, had a salary of $541,100 in 2004. He plans to retire in the first quarter of 2006.

Kellwood expands Q3 earnings release
Kellwood Company (NYSE: KWD) has posted additional non-GAAP financial information on its website to support its third-quarter earnings release. It includes a reconciliation of the results from Kellwood's continuing operations for the third quarter and a cash flow statement for the quarter. The information is available at www.kellwood.com under "investor info/presentations." Brands under the Kellwood umbrella include Sierra Designs and Kelty.

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