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THERE IS LIFE ON REEBOK'S PLANET; FILA CUTS SHOE PRICES
Published January 31, 1997
Reebok Int'l stock "surged" another 3 1/2 to 49 yesterday, placing its two-day profit at 6/share, according to Bailey & Syre of the BOSTON GLOBE. Although fourth- quarter earnings were down 43% on lower shoe sales, Reebok noted that footwear orders were up 6% for the first half of '97. Reebok's net income dropped to $20.1M, or $.35/share, from profits from operations of $35M, or $.46/share, a year earlier. But Bailey & Syre note that what Wall Street "wanted was a turnaround in future orders, and it was not disappointed." After pushing new products, launching a new advertising campaign and mending "fences" with retailers, Reebok's stock has been moving up since a low of 25 3/8 last January. And in the last two days, investors began betting on the backlog numbers expected in yesterday's earnings report and "several big blocks of stock changed hands in the last two days, mostly through Salomon Bros." Looking ahead, Roland Whitridge, who manages the Babson Value Fund, which holds a half-millions shares of Reebok, said there "is a good chance they [Reebok] are going to win back a lot of that market share they lost to Nike" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/31). CHANGE THE PRICE: Fila Holding SpA cut prices of the "Stack Mid," its new shoe that was seen as the "centerpiece" of its '97 line, by 15% as sales of its other shoes decreased. "Stack Mid" was cut from $99 to $85 after demand for Fila's Grant Hill shoe slowed (Baltimore SUN, 1/31).