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Outdoor financials: Delayed filing puts Deckers in jeopardy of Nasdaq de-listing, plus Eddie Bauer, Gander Mountain, Payless/Stride Rite, Cabela's, Wellman, GSI Commerce

Delayed filing puts Deckers in jeopardy of Nasdaq de-listing, Eddie Bauer posts narrower Q2 loss and shares fall, Gander Mountain expands credit facility, Payless ShoeSource closes acquisition of Stride Rite, Cabela's to buy S.I.R. Warehouse, Wellman declares quarterly dividend, and GSI to buy Accretive Commerce for $97.5 million.

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Delayed filing puts Deckers in jeopardy of Nasdaq de-listing
The Nasdaq Stock Market sent Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK) a letter saying the company is not in compliance with the SEC filing requirements for continued listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market due to the delayed filing of the company’s quarterly report.

Deckers has requested a hearing before the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel to review the matter. The hearing request will automatically stay the delisting of the company’s common stock, and shares of the company’s common stock will continue trading on Nasdaq, pending the outcome of the panel’s decision. But Deckers noted that there is no guarantee that the panel will grant the company’s request for continued listing as a result of the hearing.

The delay is a result of an internal review by the Audit Committee of the company’s board of directors of employee payroll declarations and certain tax payments that were underreported and underpaid by certain of the company’s foreign subsidiaries in foreign jurisdictions.

Based upon the Audit Committee’s investigation to date, the company believes that the inadequate declarations and underpayments did not exceed $500,000 in any given year and $2.7 million in the aggregate and that interest and penalties with respect thereto could range from $3.3 million to $15.4 million.

But the Audit Committee has not yet completed the internal review or determined whether, or in what amounts, the underpayments will result in any government action or whether any past due interest, fines or other penalties will be imposed. As a result, Deckers said it has not made a final determination as to whether a restatement of any of its historical financial statements is necessary.

Due to the possibility of a restatement of certain financial information, Deckers was not able to timely file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2007. It intends to file the report as soon as it can following the conclusion of the Audit Committee’s internal review.

Eddie Bauer posts narrower Q2 loss, shares fall
Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) reported a narrower second-quarter loss compared with a year-ago period that included hefty income tax expenses.

Quarterly losses totaled $22.2 million, or $0.73 per share, versus a wider loss of nearly $42 million, or $1.49 per share in the year-ago quarter.

The company had an income tax benefit of $600,000, compared with tax expense of $32.6 million in the prior-year quarter, which included $23.5 million associated with an increased valuation allowance related to the company’s net operating losses.

Revenue rose less than 1 percent to $227 million from $225.7 million last year. Same-store sales rose 0.9 percent in the second quarter.

President and Chief Executive Neil S. Fiske said Eddie Bauer is working on cutting costs and changing its merchandising assortment. Fiske said it will paint a clearer picture of the brand as a “premier active outdoor lifestyle brand” through its catalog, Web site and marketing.

Also during the quarter, gross margin fell nearly 6 percent to $75.3 million, hurt by higher costs.

Fiske said the company has several initiatives underway to cut costs related to distribution, freight product sourcing, and an “underutilized” distribution center in Groveport, Ohio.

Fiske, previously head of Limited Brands Inc. Bath and Body Works, was named chief executive in June, replacing Eddie Bauer’s interim chief executive Howard Gross. The company’s last chief executive, Fabian Mansson, resigned in February after shareholders rejected the company’s proposed $286 million sale to private equity firms.

Shares fell as much as $1.74 in trading on Aug. 15 and eventually closed at $7.98. The stock has traded between $14.27 and $6.50 over the past 52 weeks.

Gander Mountain expands credit facility
Gander Mountain (Nasdaq: GMTN) has increased its revolving credit facility to $345 million from $275 million and extended the maturity date. It added that it also has the option to increase the credit line by another $50 million.

The company said the maturity date for the revolving loan will be extended three years to June 30, 2012.

The company’s term loan will remain $20 million, but its maturity date will also be extended three years to June 30, 2012. Gander Mountain said it will continue to utilize the proceeds of the credit facility for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Payless ShoeSource closes acquisition of Stride Rite
Payless ShoeSource (NYSE: PSS) said it has completed its acquisition of competing shoe store chain owner The Stride Rite for about $800 million. Among the brands in Stride Rite’s portfolio are Saucony and Hind.

More than 80 percent of Stride Rite shareholders approved the transaction during a special meeting on Aug. 16, the company said. Besides paying $20.50 per share, Payless also is taking on some Stride Rite debt, pushing the deal value to around $900 million.

As previously announced, Payless also said it was changing its corporate name to Collective Brands, a holding company that will operate the Payless and Stride Rite chains under their own names, as well as Collective Licensing International, a brand development and licensing company.

Cabela’s to buy S.I.R. Warehouse
Cabela’s (NYSE: CAB) has agreed to buy Canadian outdoor retailer S.I.R. Warehouse Sports Store. Terms were undisclosed. The deal is expected to close in 30 to 60 days.

S.I.R. was founded in 1924 by Sydney Isaac Robinson and has grown into one of Canada’s leading outdoor outfitters through its mail-order operation and 44,000-square-foot retail store in the heart of Winnipeg’s busiest shopping district. A family-owned and operated business, S.I.R is headed by Earl Robinson, son of the company’s founder, who serves as president.

Dennis Highby, Cabela’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “This acquisition will allow us to accelerate growth of our retail, catalog and Internet business in Canada, and though we already have a loyal customer base in Canada, we expect significant growth in Canadian business as a result of this transaction.”

S.I.R.’s facilities will become the headquarters for Cabela’s Canadian operations. It will also retain all S.I.R.’s employees.

Wellman declares quarterly dividend
Wellman’s (NYSE: WLM) board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.02 per share on the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock payable on Sept. 17, 2007, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Sept. 4, 2007.

GSI to buy Accretive Commerce for $97.5 million
GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC), an e-commerce website operator, has agreed to acquire Accretive Commerce, a provider of e-commerce services, for $97.5 million in cash. GSI said the acquisition will expand its partner base and add to its infrastructure.

GSI expects integration-related operating expenses of about $10 million to $12 million and capital expenditures of $10 million to $15 million related to the acquisition, taken in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 through the end of fiscal 2008, mainly for systems migration activities. The acquisition is expected to close within 60 days.

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