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Outdoor financials: Analyst forecasts strong year for Deckers, plus Quiksilver/Rossignol, LaCrosse, VF Corp.

An analyst signaled a strong year for Deckers, Moody's said Quiksilver's rating is on review for a downgrade, LaCrosse Footwear chose the site of a new national distribution center, and VF named a president of its sportswear coalition.

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Analyst forecasts strong year for Deckers

An analyst raised his target on Deckers Outdoor’s (Nasdaq: DECK) stock, saying the company looks set to post solid results in the second half of the year. It is the parent of Teva, Ugg and Simple.

Piper Jaffray analyst Jeffrey Klinefelter wrote in a client note that his channel checks show both new and classic Ugg styles are both selling well. He added that industry data shows sales of the company’s Teva shoes spiked in June.

Klinefelter now expects Ugg shipments to grow nearly 40 percent in the third quarter and 32 percent in the fourth quarter, ahead of his prior targets of 25 percent to 30 percent growth in those periods.

“International markets remain largely untapped, representing only 15 percent of total annual sales,” Klinefelter wrote. “We look for international markets to comprise close to 30 percent of sales in the next three to five years, tied in part to the expiration and reacquisition of geographic licenses, which would be immediately accretive to earnings.”

The analyst reiterated his “Buy” rating on the stock and raised his price target to $169 from $163. He also raised his profit estimates for the second half of 2008 and added the stock to the Alpha list of preferred near-term investments.

Deckers shares rose $5.46 to close at $134.35 on June 16.

Moody’s says Quiksilver rating on review for downgrade based on Rossignol unit

Credit-ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service put Quiksilver’s (NYSE: ZQK) ratings on review for a possible downgrade as it tries to sell its Rossignol business.

Quiksilver plans to sell Rossignol, which it bought in 2005. It has classified Rossignol as discontinued operations.

The review will consider the uncertainty associated with the company’s ability to successfully conclude a sale of Rossignol, Moody’s said. A successful sale would have an immediately positive impact on results, Moody’s said in a statement, but the amount, timing and terms of any sale remain uncertain.

Moody’s added that failure to sell the business in the near-term term would likely mean that Quiksilver will not be able to achieve the credit metrics necessary to maintain its current rating.

LaCrosse Footwear chooses site of new national distribution center

LaCrosse Footwear (Nasdaq: BOOT) said it would build a national distribution center in the central Indiana town of Whitestown. It plans to consolidate two LaCrosse, Wis., centers into a 380,000-square-foot building about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

LaCrosse will hire about 30 managers, supervisors and other employees next year when the new center opens. It will complement an existing facility LaCrosse operates in Portland, Ore.

The distribution center will be developed through a joint venture between ProLogis, an industrial real estate investment trust, and Browning Investments Inc., an Indianapolis-based commercial real estate developer.

LaCrosse will utilize the space as a national distribution center, serving customers primarily in the Midwest and along the East Coast. It said about 70 percent of its domestic customers can be reached within a day’s drive of Indianapolis.

VF names president of sportswear coalition

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) has promoted Karen Murray to president of its sportswear coalition, which is based in New York City, and includes the Nautica, Kipling (U.S.) and John Varvatos businesses. She replaces Denise Seegal, who left the company in May to pursue other interests.

Murray joined VF Sportswear in September 2007 as president of its Nautica men’s sportswear and Nautica jeans businesses. Prior to joining VF, she was at Liz Claiborne Inc. for 15 years.

VF is also the parent of Eagle Creek, The North Face, JanSport and Eastpak.

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