SBD/January 14, 2011/Finance

Golfsmith Sees Best Q4 In Four Years; Quiksilver Eyeing Rebound

Golfsmith reported its "best fourth quarter in four years," with sales at the "nation's largest golf retailer jumping about 15% from a year ago," according to CNBC's Melissa Francis. The company's stock "is up 20% from a year ago." But CNBC's Darren Rovell noted the "golf business has been among the most challenged in this tough economic environment." Rovell asked Golfsmith President & CEO Marty Hanaka whether the company's rebound is an "economic indicator for all businesses." Hanaka said, "Our whole team has worked very hard the last couple of years to reposition the company … and a real highlight is our Web business." He noted online sales "were up 40%, our direct business was up 31%" and the company's "comp stores up 6.4%." Hanaka noted there are "several factors" for the increases. Hanaka: "The environment's better, there's less competition than there was, we've opened some new stores, and I think our people are really executing much better than in the past. Also, new products that are stimulating interest in the industry." Rovell asked if the scandal surrounding Tiger Woods last year affected business "as much as we thought he would in 2010." Hanaka: "He hasn't really affected business at all. Anything he gets is gravy, and we're seeing a changing of the guard out there. All these young, new players are exciting, whether it's Dustin Johnson, Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy. … We don't need Tiger. We got a lot of young players" ("The Call," CNBC, 1/13.)

SURF'S BACK UP: Quiksilver Chair & CEO Bob McKnight Thursday discussed the company's rebound after its stock price dropped to under $1 a share. He said it "does feel great to actually go back to working on product and marketing and team riders and events and reconnecting with our core accounts and all those things we are now able to do, where the past 18 months have been stuck in a board room and locking down the finances." McKnight said it was "very rewarding for the company to be able to de-lever the company the last year, work on efficiencies and bring the company back to very good profitability." McKnight: "We're back to what we do best. We're going to be focusing on our brands." He noted Quiksilver has some new initiatives, and the company is "going to be working on our expansion geographically." McKnight: "Now we can really push those brands and work on the distribution." McKnight added the company's "focus is the 14-18-year-old girl/guy, and as long as we make products for them that's innovative and exciting, then we'll be cool forever" (Fox Business, 1/13).
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