Outdoor financials: Quiksilver shares topsy-turvy following report of possible acquisition, plus Forzani, Wolverine, Outdoor Channel

Shares of Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) were on a rollercoaster ride, Dec. 9-10, on news of a possible acquisition by French luxury and retail group PPR (PRTP.PA). Plus, Wolverine declares quarterly dividend and Outdoor Channel declares special cash distribution.
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Quiksilver shares topsy-turvy following report of possible acquisition

Shares of Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) were on a rollercoaster ride, Dec. 9-10, on news of a possible acquisition by French luxury and retail group PPR (PRTP.PA).

French newspaper La Tribune reported that the owner of the Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Puma and Bottega Veneta brands is looking to buy a sports brand and could be attracted by Quiksilver’s sports apparel.

The news sent Quiksilver shares up to a nearly six-month high on Dec. 9, but plunged 10.6 percent the following day, making it one of the 10 largest percentage decreasers on the NYSE.

More than 9.2 million Quiksilver shares changed hands in Dec. 9 trading. It closed at $5.68, up $1.05 from the previous day.

Its volume movement on Dec. 10 was 3.8 million, closing at $5.08 -- down $0.60.

In a client note, JPMorgan Cazenove analysts wrote that PPR’s sale of its Conforama furniture unit would allow the company to switch focus to acquisitions.

"Following this disposal, potential acquisitions are in the limelight. Burberry is ‘too big a fish’ for PPR in our view ... We think Quiksilver could be of interest to PPR as a market leader in the lifestyle space focused on surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding," they wrote.

Quiksilver has seen demand in Europe and the Americas -- its two key markets -- weaken recently, and some analysts think it needs to revamp to get growing in the domestic market.

"I think the company needs aggressive change," said Brian Sozzi, analyst with Wall Street Strategies, in a report, noting Quiksilver's recent private placement. "It would be a good idea to remove itself from the public markets."

Forzani Q3 profit up

Forzani Group (TSX: FGL), Canada's largest sporting goods retailer, posted a 20 percent rise in quarterly net earnings, saying it was helped by stronger same-store sales and lower operating costs.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Forzani posted a profit of CDN $13.7 million (USD $13.5 million), or CDN 0.47 a share (USD $0.46), up from CDN $11.4 million (USD $11.2 million), or CDN 0.37 a share (USD $0.36), in the year-before quarter.

Revenue for the quarter rose 3.2 percent to CDN $393.2 million (USD $389.4 million).

Forzani, which operates more than 550 retail outlets under banners such as Sport Chek, Atmosphere and Fitness Source, said same-store sales rose 1.2 percent.

The company also said that overall same-store sales during the first five weeks of the fourth quarter were up by 15.9 percent.

While winter weather in Western Canada helped bolster sales of winter clothing and footwear, it said that momentum would slow in December and January.

During the quarter, the company reported that it decreased the number of corporate stores by four: closing four Nevada Bob's Golf stores, one Fitness Source store, and one Sport Mart store, while opening one Sport Chek and acquiring one Nevada Bob's Golf store from a franchisee.

Also, it declared a dividend of $0.075 per Class "A" share, payable on Jan. 31, 2011, to shareholders of record on Jan. 17, 2011.

(Conversion of Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Dec. 9.)

Wolverine declares quarterly dividend

Wolverine World Wide (NYSE:WWW), parent of Merrell and Chaco, has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per share of common stock, payable on Feb. 1, 2011, to stockholders of record on Jan. 3, 2011. 

The company said the dividend is equal to the last quarterly dividend and reflects an indicated annual dividend of $0.44 per share.

Outdoor Channel declares special cash distribution

Outdoor Channel Holdings (Nasdaq: OUTD) said it has declared a special one-time cash distribution of $0.25 per share to shareholders.

The distribution will be payable on Dec. 30 to shareholders of record on Dec. 20.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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