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FINANCIAL REPORT GIVES REEBOK SHAREHOLDERS "INDIGESTION"
Published December 1, 1995
Reebok Chair Paul Fireman met with 40-50 shareholders at a New York restaurant Wednesday night to update them on the latest "game plan" for "re-invigorating" the company. But this morning's BOSTON HERALD reports analysts said shareholders "came away with indigestion." Reebok's stock dropped $2 yesterday to close at $26.125, its lowest price in more than two years. Analysts say Fireman's statement Reebok intends to "shift away from being fashion-oriented" and "concentrate on athletes who wear their brands" means an admission "they are changing focus, again." Dana Cohen of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette wrote, "It is unclear who they view as their core customer. It seems that by moving away from the young inner-city kid they are taking their eye away from the consumer that is the primary customer of the product and the fashion driver. ...Reebok's brand position in the marketplace remains unfocused." Other analysts expressed concern at Fireman's assertion that they will concentrate on athletes age 18-30, noting that the audience inferred "that the company intends to neglect" 12-18 year-olds "who are so important to sneaker makers" (Tom Nutile, BOSTON HERALD, 12/1). Dean Witter cut '96 earnings estimates for Reebok which also helped push the stock down 2 1/8 yesterday ("Nightly Business Report," PBS, 11/30).