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Fitness financials: Brunswick shares fall on weak retail environment, plus Hibbett Sports, U.S. retail sales drop for July, Nike

Brunswick shares fell on the weak retail environment, Hibbett Sports opened its 700th store, U.S. retail sales dropped for July, and Nike declared a dividend.

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Brunswick shares fall on weak retail environment

Shares of Brunswick (NYSE: BC) fell Aug. 13 as new government data showed shoppers spent less than expected last month, avoiding big-ticket items. The Commerce Department’s report indicated retail sales fell 0.1 percent in July.

Brunswick shares fell $0.93, or 6.2 percent, to $13.98 in midday trading. It closed at $14.19. The company’s shares are down 17 percent for the year.

The company is in the midst of massive job cuts and plant closures as it was hurt by falling U.S. recreational boat sales, which are at their lowest level in at least a decade.

Also, Brunswick said it would offer $250 million in senior unsecured notes, due in 2013. Merrill Lynch, Banc of America and JPMorgan are serving as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Brunswick is the parent of Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and Parabody.

Hibbett Sports opens 700th store

Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) reached a milestone this week, saying it opened its 700th store.

The newest location in Bessemer, Ala., is at the Colonial Promenade Tannehill shopping center. The company plans to celebrate the store’s grand opening on Aug. 23 at the 4863 Promenade Parkway location.

U.S. retail sales drop for July

The U.S. Census Bureau recorded a 0.1 percent drop in July retail sales, and an increase of just 0.4 percent when excluding auto sales — the weakest performance in five months, and worse than the flat reading economists had been expecting. Both figures fell short of expectations, after June’s sales were up 0.3 percent — and 0.9 percent excluding autos — on a revision.

Consumer-related stocks, which had recently shown strength thanks to cheaper oil prices, were hurting on the retail data. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund sank over 1 percent.

Oil was slightly higher ahead of the weekly inventory report from the U.S. Department of Energy. Reports that Russia broke its ceasefire with Georgia may have contributed to crude oil rising $0.37 to $113.38.

Nike declares dividend

The board of directors of Nike (NYSE: NKE) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.23 per share on the company’s outstanding Class A and Class B Common Stock payable Oct. 1 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 8.

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