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  • CALLAWAY SALES FEELING EFFECTS OF EL NINO WEATHER PATTERN

              Callaway Golf said Friday that its U.S. sales "are
         getting drenched by El Nino" and the impact could "drag
         earnings" 70% below analysts' first-quarter estimates,
         according to Bruce Bigelow of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. 
         The CA-based company, which was "expected" to report
         earnings of $.36 per share, said that unusually bad weather
         patterns caused by El Nino "has discouraged winter sales" of
         its golf clubs in FL and CA.  Callaway President Donald Dye
         said earnings could be "as much as" $.25 below estimates if
         weather conditions "continue unabated through the remainder
         of the quarter" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/28).
    
    

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  • CAN NIKE KEEP LONG-TERM GROWTH PROSPECTS ON SCHEDULE?

              The value of Nike's stock was examined by PBS's Darren
         Gersh on "Nightly Business Report."  Gersh: "The advertising
         is gritty, determined, heroic.  It's the essence of the Nike
         brand, a brand that some bargain hunting investors say is
         now available at a discount."  Marchfield Associates
         Managing Dir Sam Mitchell said that the strength of Nike's
         shares is an "association with sports and what's positive in
         sports.  That's very powerful.  That intangible value is a
         very high proportion of Nike's total value."  Along with the
         brand identity, Mitchell says Nike "offers world class
         logistics and a proven record of aggressive management." 
         While Nike believes it "can deliver long-term growth of
         15%," Mitchell figures if sales grow "just" 8%, Nike's stock
         "is reasonably priced in the mid fifties, well above
         [Friday's] closing price of 43 7/8" ("NBR," PBS, 2/27).  
    
    

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  • UMBRO SETS REFINANCING PLAN STILL NEEDED TO BE WORKED OUT

              The refinancing of Umbro "could take another two months
         to complete," according to Patrick Harverson of the
         FINANCIAL TIMES.  Umbro CEO Larry Ramaekers said that the
         company was looking to raise "substantial new capital" but
         had "still to decide on what sort of refinancing to pursue,"
         with options including issuing subordinated debt or equity,
         or securing bank financing or bridge loans.  Ramaekers also
         said the aim was to float an IPO within "one to three"
         years.  Umbro is owned by SC-based Stone Manufacturing and
         it is believed "differences of opinion among family members"
         is one of the reasons behind Umbro's indecision on
         refinancing (Patrick Harverson, FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/28).  
    
    

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