VA-based AMF Bowling debuted on the NYSE yesterday under the symbol PIN, and finished up 11.5% for the day, according to Bob Rayner of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. AMF opened at $19.50 per share but closed up $2.25 at $21.75. AMF President & CEO Doug Stanard said the company raised about $300M from the IPO after expenses. Standard: "This will allow us to pay down debt and continue to fund our bowling center acquisitions" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 11/5). CNN's Lou Dobbs reported that AMF raised $263M "on its big board debut" ("Moneyline," CNN, 11/4).
Over the "next several months," corporate owner Benetton Sportsystems "will shift the bulk" of MN-based Rollerblade's "administrative departments" to its Princeton, NJ, N.A. headquarters, according to Jennifer Ehrlich of MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL CITY BUSINESS. The 280 employees at Rollerblade's MN office "are expected to lose their jobs," and sources within the company "say the only Rollerblade employees who will hold on to their positions are a handful of people who will staff a new corporate office in Minneapolis," which will serve as the sales and marketing arm of the company. Benetton's decision to "essentially scrap" Rollerblade as an "autonomous" company "came as no surprise to analysts who have predicted a wave of industry- wide consolidation." Benetton "plans to cut costs" by taking over Rollerblade's finance, accounting, credit, human resources and information services departments that were in the MN offices (CITY BUSINESS, 11/3 issue).
adidas yesterday "surprised investors with a stronger than expected increase in third-quarter pre-tax profits," according to Graham Bowley of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The company said pre-tax profits rose 64.4% to $176.8M in the period. The company also announced that Chair Robert Louis- Dreyfus and fellow Dir Christian Tourres would each sell 500,000 shares, but would continue to hold about 4.9% each of adidas share capital (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/5). 3Q sales rose 46% to $1.2B, up from $859M in '96. Apparel sales rose 59% from '96, and footwear sales were up 35%. In North America, sales rose 69% to $306.8M; European sales grew 34% to $792.6M; and Asian sales increased 74% (REUTERS, 11/4). CONVERSE: Converse posted its sixth consecutive financial quarter of improved net earnings, for the 3Q ended September 27. Net sales were $121.9M compared to $113.3M in the 3Q of '96, an increase of 7.6%. Net earnings were $0.2M or $.01 per share compared to a loss of $3.0M or an $.18 loss per share in the third quarter of '96. For the nine month period, net sales increased 29.1% to $361.2M compared to $279.8M in '96 (Converse). Results for the 3Q include an after-tax gain of around $8M, or $.45 per share, relating to the successful resolution of litigation stemming from the purchase of Apex One Inc. in '95 (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/4). OTHER NEWS: CNBC's Terry Keenan: "Fila closed down a fraction, just under $25 a share, but the stock could attract some buyers tomorrow. The Italian sportswear company is out with disappointing 3rd quarter profits of $0.64, but that is well ahead of the street estimate. Looking forward, Fila says that it will reengineer its U.S. apparel, footwear and retail divisions" ("Market Wrap," 11/4)....MI-based Penske Motorsports earned $8.8M, or $.63 per share, on revenue of $44M in the 3Q '97, compared to $6.5M, or $50 per share, on revenue of $24M after 3Q '96 (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/3)....CA-based Golden Bear Golf, Inc. announced 3Q '97 revenues of $17.7M, up 79% from $9.9M for the 3Q in '96. Net earnings for the 3Q were $364,000, or $.07 per share, compared to $268,000, or $.06 per share a year ago (Golden Bear Golf).