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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).
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).
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).