Outdoor financials: Wolverine's Q4 profit jumps on gains in outdoor group, plus Columbia Sportswear, LaCrosse, Cabela's, Eddie Bauer, Outdoor Channel, Under Armour, Kellwood - SNEWS

Outdoor financials: Wolverine's Q4 profit jumps on gains in outdoor group, plus Columbia Sportswear, LaCrosse, Cabela's, Eddie Bauer, Outdoor Channel, Under Armour, Kellwood

Wolverine's Q4 profit jumps on gains in outdoor group, Columbia Sportswear profit jumps 19 percent, LaCrosse posts 10 percent increase in FY '07 sales, Cabela's warns of Q4 profit below analyst estimates, Eddie Bauer to cut 123 jobs, Eddie Bauer to cut 123 jobs, Under Armour posts 42 percent increase in Q4 profit, and FTC OKs potential sale of Kellwood to Sun Capital.
Author:
Publish date:

Wolverine's Q4 profit jumps on gains in outdoor group

Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW), parent of Merrell, saw its fourth-quarter profit climb 8 percent due partly to strong sales and earnings in its outdoor shoe division.

For the quarter ended Dec. 29, net income climbed to $25.6 million, or $0.49 per share, from $23.6 million, or $0.42 per share in the prior-year quarter. The company said revenue and earnings gains in its outdoor group, including its Merrell shoe line, helped boost profit.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $357.4 million from $341.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

For the year, net income climbed 11 percent to $92.9 million, or $1.70 per share, from $83.6 million, or $1.47 per share in the prior year. Revenue increased 5 percent to $1.20 billion from $1.14 billion in 2006.

"Overall, the Outdoor Group set the pace with the Merrell business posting robust double-digit increases in both earnings and revenue for the year," CEO Blake Krueger said in a statement. "Excluding our businesses in transition, the Hush Puppies Company, Heritage Brands Group and Wolverine Footwear Group all posted revenue gains for the year."

Wolverine boosted its 2008 earnings per share guidance but said its revenue was unlikely to meet analysts' expectations. The company now expects profit between $1.80 and $1.88 per share, up from prior estimates of $1.78 to $1.84 per share. Analysts have forecast earnings of $1.83 per share for the year.

The company also said it would likely report revenue between $1.23 billion and $1.26 billion. The midpoint of that range falls below analysts' consensus estimate of $1.27 billion.

Citigroup analyst Kate McShane said results were helped by strong brands and execution. "Wolverine continues to deliver in a difficult footwear environment," McShane wrote. She reiterated her "Buy" rating and $33 price target on the stock.

Shares rose $1.48, or 6.8 percent, to close at $23.30 on Jan. 30. The stock has traded between $19.85 and $31.08 during the past year.

Columbia Sportswear profit jumps 19 percent

Fourth-quarter profit for Columbia Sportswear (Nasdaq: COLM) rose 19 percent helped in part, it said, by a lower tax rate.

The company reported income of $45.7 million, or $1.26 per share, compared with $38.4 million, or $1.06 per share, in the year-ago period.

Results include $0.19 per share related to a lower tax rate resulting from favorable European tax examinations and geographic mix of taxable income. Columbia recorded $12.9 million in income-tax expense in the fourth quarter, compared with $17.7 million in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $376.8 million from $361.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

For the quarter, outerwear net sales increased 1 percent to $182.2 million, while sportswear sales grew 7 percent to $116.2 million. Footwear sales also rose 7 percent to $60.6 million.

Fourth quarter 2007 Columbia brand net sales increased 6 percent to $330.0 million, Mountain Hardwear net sales increased 15 percent to $23.9 million, Sorel net sales increased 3 percent to $19.8 million, Montrail net sales decreased 23 percent to $1.7 million and Pacific Trail decreased 85 percent to $1.3 million, compared to the fourth quarter of 2006.

For the full year, income rose 17 percent to $144.5 million, or $3.96 per share, from $123 million, or $3.36 per share, in 2006. Total sales increased 5 percent to $1.36 billion from $1.29 billion in the previous year.

Compared with 2006, fiscal year 2007 outerwear net sales were level at $497.6 million, sportswear net sales increased 11 percent to $565.6 million, footwear net sales increased 4 percent to $227.4 million, and equipment and accessories net sales increased 5 percent to $65.4 million.

FY 2007 brand net sales increased 7 percent to $1.2 billion, Mountain Hardwear net sales increased 12 percent to $82.6 million, Sorel net sales were level at $45.6 million, Montrail net sales decreased 9 percent to $12.7 million and Pacific Trail net sales decreased 83 percent to $3.9 million, compared with 2006.

Columbia said it anticipates first-quarter earnings of $0.51 per share, compared with $0.71 per share in the prior-year quarter. Columbia also said it expects sales to decline 2 percent from the year-ago period, implying revenue of $283.8 million.

Additionally, its board approved a dividend of $0.16 payable on March 6 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 21.

LaCrosse posts 10 percent increase in FY '07 sales

LaCrosse Footwear (Nasdaq: BOOT), parent of the Danner and LaCrosse brands, posted a 3 percent increase in fourth-quarter net sales and a 10 percent increase in year-end sales.

For the fourth quarter of 2007, LaCrosse reported consolidated net sales of $32.7 million, up 3 percent from $31.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Net income was $2.4 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, up 8 percent from $2.2 million, or $0.36 per diluted share in 2006.

For the full year 2007, consolidated net sales were $118.2 million, up 10 percent from $107.8 million in 2006. Net income was $7.3 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, up 15 percent from $6.3 million, or $1.02 per diluted share in 2006.

Sales to the outdoor market were $15.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, down 2 percent from $15.7 million for the same period of 2006. During the fourth quarter of 2007, the company said sales of outdoor boots were adversely impacted by unfavorable weather conditions in the first two months of the period.

For the full year of 2007, sales to the outdoor market were $57.3 million, up 8 percent from $53.1 million in 2006 -- primarily reflecting increased penetration into the rugged outdoor boot markets.

Sales to the work market were $17.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, up 8 percent from $16.0 million the year before. For FY 2007, sales to the work market were $60.9 million, up 11 percent from $54.7 million in 2006.

LaCrosse said it continued to maintain strong gross margins. For the fourth quarter of 2007, its gross margin was 40.1 percent of net sales, up from 39.6 percent or 50 basis points in the same period of 2006. For the full year of 2007, its gross margin was 39.7 percent of net sales, up from 39.2 percent or 50 basis points in 2006.

Cabela's warns of Q4 profit below analyst estimates

Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) is forecasting fourth-quarter earnings below analyst estimates, citing a challenging retail environment and underperformance by new stores.

For the quarter, Cabela's expects profit of $0.83 to $0.85 per share, on revenue growth of about 14 percent. Same-store sales are expected to decline 5.9 percent.

For the full year, earnings per share are expected in the range of $1.29 to $1.31 per share, also on 14 percent revenue growth. Same-store sales are expected to decline 1.2 percent.

Analysts have predicted quarterly earnings per share of 91 cents and full-year profit of $1.39 per share.

Cabela's said this year, it will "significantly slow" retail expansion and focus on improving the profitability of its existing operations.

"During the fourth quarter, our top line was impacted by an overall challenging consumer environment," said Dennis Highby, Cabela's president and CEO, in a statement. "Part of our strategy involves an ongoing review of our previously planned store openings to reconfirm our expectations. Based upon these ongoing reviews and current economic conditions, we will pare our store openings in 2008 to just two of the previously planned retail stores."

D.A. Davidson analyst Reed Anderson downgraded the company's stock to "Neutral" from "Buy."

"While much of the bad news may already be reflected in the stock price, we see little opportunity for meaningful appreciation potential until (same-store sales) trends improve," wrote Anderson in a note to investors. He also lowered his price target to $15 from $21.

Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Ralph Jean also lowered his rating, to "Market Perform" from "Outperform."

"We believe that fourth-quarter sales were impacted by a challenging retail environment, less-than-expected productivity in some new stores and another warm winter," he wrote. "Given our reduced growth expectations and our low visibility into near-term fundamentals as a result of internal operating initiatives and a challenging retail and economic environment, we are downgrading our rating on shares of Cabela's to 'Market Perform.'"

Shares fell $0.35, or 2.5 percent, to $13.78 on Jan. 30. The stock has traded between $11.08 and $28.80 during the past 52 weeks.

The company is scheduled to release final financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year on Feb. 21.

Eddie Bauer to cut 123 jobs

Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) said it will eliminate 123 jobs, or 16 percent of corporate staff, in a effort to cut costs by $25 million to $30 million in 2008. The job cuts are in Seattle, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.

President and CEO Neil Fiske said in a statement, "We have taken a major step to streamline the organization, simplify processes and focus our resources on our strategic priorities. We acknowledged in our last earnings call that our overall costs are too high and that we were going to take action in early 2008 to become more cost competitive."

Separately, the company named Tony Krohn divisional vice president of research, design and development for outerwear, activewear and gear. He was previously a The North Face executive.

Eddie Bauer also named Joe Moji divisional vice president of financial planning and analysis.

Krohn received an inducement grant to join the company of 6,375 stock options, exercisable at $5.64 per option and vesting pro rata over four years, and 5,643 restricted stock units, vesting after four years of service. Moji received an inducement grant to join the company of 6,375 stock options, exercisable at $5.64 per option, and vesting pro rata over four years, and 2,125 restricted stock units, vesting after four years of service.

The company is working to turn around lagging sales under Fiske.

Outdoor Channel swings to Q3 profit

Third-quarter profit for Outdoor Channel Holdings (Nasdaq: OUTD) increased on advertising and subscriber fee revenue, and the absence of an impairment charge it took last year.

The company also said it completed a review of financial results for the first three quarters of last year and made the necessary adjustments in restatements with the SEC.

For the period ended Sept. 30, net income was $1.5 million, or $0.06 per share, compared with a loss of $5.3 million, or $0.21 per share, in the previous year. The year-ago period include a $9.5 million impairment charge.

Outdoor Channel said in November that it delayed filing third-quarter results because accountants had determined the company needed to increase the amount of past stock-based compensation costs it recognized in the first two quarters of the year. At the time the company received a warning from Nasdaq that it could face possible delisting because of the delayed report.

Quarterly revenue rose to $12.7 million, up 12 percent from $11.3 million in the prior year.

Advertising sales grew to $7.9 million from $7 million, while subscriber fees increased to $4.7 million from $4.3 million.

Under Armour posts 42 percent increase in Q4 profit

Under Armour's (NYSE: UA) fourth-quarter profit rose 42 percent on growing sales of high-margin items.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, net income rose to $16.9 million, or $0.34 per share, from $11.9 million, or $0.24 per share. Both gross and operating margins increased on higher sales of the company's men's, women's and youth apparel, the company said. Revenue climbed 29 percent to $174.8 million.

For the full year, Under Armour posted net income of $52.6 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to $39 million, or $0.79 per share. Revenue climbed to $606.6 million from $430.7 million.

Looking ahead for 2008, Under Armour expects annual net revenues in the range of $765 million to $775 million, an increase of 26 percent to 28 percent over 2007. It anticipates 2008 income from operations to be in the range of $108.5 million to $110.5 million, an increase of 26 percent to 28 percent over 2007.

FTC OKs potential sale of Kellwood to Sun Capital

The Federal Trade Commission said it has given the go-ahead to Sun Capital Securities' unsolicited $21-per-share offer for Kellwood (NYSE: KWD). The announcement was made in a periodic list of approved deals issued by the FTC.

Initially fighting the takeover, Kellwood said it would allow its shareholders to decide for themselves. Additionally, Kellwood has also given approvals under Delaware law and its charter, so that Sun Capital's cash tender offer can be consummated Feb. 12 if a majority of the stock gets tendered.

For more information about any public company on this page or its financial reports, as well as to view stock prices updated every 15 minutes, visit the SNEWS® Stock Market Updates. Click on: www.snewsnet.com/cgi-bin/snews/stock_report.html.

Related

Outdoor financials: Eddie Bauer to be acquired by private equity firms, plus Rocky Brands, Sport Chalet, Mammut to buy light company, Kellwood, Big 5, Outdoor Channel, Coleman, adidas, Johnson Outdoors

Eddie Bauer to be acquired by private equity firmsBarely a month after its listing on the Nasdaq, Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) has entered into an agreement to be bought by two private equity firms for $286 million in cash and go private.Under terms of the deal, a holding ...read more