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Fitness financials: Amer Sports receives notification of change in shareholding, plus Brunswick, Nike

Amer Sports received notification of a change in shareholding, Brunswick amended its revolving credit facility, and Nike shares were up after beating analysts' Q2 expectations.

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Amer Sports receives notification of change in shareholding

Amer Sports Corporation has received information to the effect that the Danske Bank A/S Helsinki Branch’s share capital and voting rights of Amer Sports are still over one-twentieth due to derivative contract transaction agreements which were completed on Dec. 18, 2008.

The Danske Bank A/S Helsinki Branch has completed derivative contract transaction agreements on Dec.18, 2008, that will, according to their current schemes, mature in February 2009. If materialized, the ownership of Danske Bank A/S’s Helsinki Branch will fall under one-twentieth no earlier than February 25, 2009.

The Danske Bank A/S Helsinki Branch owns still 7,000,000 shares, which represent 9.58 percent of the company’s share capital and voting rights.

Amer Sports capital consists of 73,045,551 shares in issue.

Brunswick amends revolving credit facility

Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness, Parabody and Hammer Strength, said it and a group of financial institutions have completed amending the company’s revolving credit facility. Brunswick said it had sought various changes to the credit facility to ensure access to this short-term funding source in light of the current economic and credit climates.

“The completion of the amendment is an important step for Brunswick, providing us with liquidity and financial flexibility going forward,” said Brunswick Chairman and CEO Dustan McCoy in a statement. “We believe the amount available under this facility, combined with the cash on our balance sheet as well as recent and future cost savings efforts, should provide us the necessary liquidity to manage effectively through these difficult market and economic conditions.”

As part of this amendment, the facility was converted into a secured asset-based facility, and its size was established at $400 million.

“This facility is consistent with our current business needs in terms of size and structure,” McCoy added. “It provides access to an important source of liquidity, should we need to supplement our own vigorous cash management efforts, to fund anticipated working capital needs going forward.”

Separately, Brunswick filed a separate Form 8-K concerning its previously issued financial statements for the three months and nine months ended Sept. 27, 2008. In preparing for its year-end 2008 financial statements, the company learned it had incorrectly determined the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets. It will need to increase its deferred tax valuation allowance, which is a non-cash charge and did not affect its operating loss or operating cash flows for the three-months and nine-month periods.

Nike shares up after beating analysts’ Q2 expectations

Shares of Nike (NYSE: NKE) were up on Dec. 18 — a day after its second-quarter earnings report beat analyst expectations, despite weak domestic sales.

Shares rose $2.80, or 5.5 percent, to $53.44 in afternoon trading. It closed at $52.69.

The previous day it had reported a 9 percent increase in profit. Net income rose to $391 million, or $0.80 per share, compared with net income of $359.4 million, or $0.71 per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 6 percent to $4.6 billion.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.79 per share on sales of $4.73 billion.

Thomas Shaw, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., wrote in a client note that “given the global economic environment, Nike appears to be managing the business prudently” by controlling expenses while continuing to take market share. While Nike expects currency-neutral sales growth in the second-half of 2009, to remain at or slightly below second-quarter results, Shaw wrote that “this kind of stability may still prove aggressive.”

Shaw added that he sees strong growth for future orders in the United States. While encouraging, he wrote there needs to be “clearer signs of stabilizing consumer demand” to justify share price growth. He maintained his “Hold” rating.

–Compiled by Wendy Geister

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