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Outdoor financials: Gander Mountain narrows Q1 loss, plus Dick's, Stride Rite, Crocs, Jarden, Hibbett, Amer

Gander Mountain narrows Q1 loss, Dick's 1Q profit gets boost from acquisition, Payless to acquire Stride Rite for $800 million, Crocs' CEO sells more than 150,000 shares, Jarden extends CEO and CFO contracts, Hibbett Sports Q1 profit falls, and Amer Sports exercises 2002 warrants.

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Gander Mountain narrows Q1 loss
Gander Mountain’s (Nasdaq: GMTN) fiscal first-quarter loss narrowed slightly, while revenue increased.

For the quarter ended May 5, the loss totaled $22.8 million, or $1.14 per share, versus a loss of $23 million, or $1.61 per share in the same period a year ago.

The company had about 20.1 million shares outstanding at the end of the quarter, and 14.3 million shares outstanding at the end of the same period last year.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $175.7 million from $155.6 million a year ago. Same-store sales grew 1 percent.

“Though the gains were small, this is the first time as a public company that Gander Mountain has improved operating performance in the first quarter versus the prior year,” said Mark Baker, company president and CEO, in a statement.

The company opened one replacement store during the first quarter, bringing the number of stores operated at the close of the first quarter to 105. For 2007, it plans to open 13 stores, including three replacement stores, for a total of 115 stores at year-end.

Dick’s 1Q profit gets boost from acquisition
Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) said its fiscal first-quarter earnings jumped 90 percent, boosted by higher same-store sales and the consolidation of the recently acquired Golf Galaxy. The latest period includes results from Golf Galaxy, which Dick’s acquired on Feb. 13.

Net income in the period ended May 5 rose to $21.7 million, or $0.38 per share, from $11.4 million, or $0.21 per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales added 28 percent to $823.6 million. Same-store sales rose 2 percent. The company said the spring sports season was delayed by weather in certain regions.

In the first quarter, the company opened 15 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and 10 Golf Galaxy stores.

Dick’s reiterated its full-year earnings outlook and expects to earn between $2.37 and $2.40 per share in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31. The forecast assumes a 1 percent to 2 percent rise in same-store sales. For the second quarter, Dick’s forecast earnings between $0.74 and $0.77 per share with same-store sales up 3 percent to 5 percent.

Payless to acquire Stride Rite for $800 million
Payless ShoeSource (NYSE: PSS) said it has agreed to acquire Stride Rite Corp. (NYSE: SRR), parent of Saucony and Hind, for about $800 million plus the assumption of debt.

The all-cash offer is valued at $20.50 per share, which represents a 33 percent premium over Stride Rite’s closing price on May 22 of $15.45. The sale price is also higher than the 52-week peak of $18. The transaction is expected to close in the third fiscal quarter of 2007.

“This transaction is squarely on strategy and driven by its strong growth potential,” Matt Rubel, Payless’ CEO, said in a statement.

When the deal closes, Payless ShoeSource said it will rename the company Collective Brands Inc. This holding company will operate three stand-alone business units: Payless stores, Stride Rite and Collective Licensing International, which Payless acquired in March. Each of the individual operating units will retain their own names and operations.

Collective Brands will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and will be based in Topeka, Kan., along with Payless ShoeSource. Stride Rite’s headquarters will remain in Lexington, Mass., and Collective Licensing will stay in Denver.

In May 23’s trading, Stride Rite rose $4.76, or 31 percent, to $20.21, topping a 52-week high of $18. Payless, which jumped $2.90, or 9.1 percent, to $34.80, has traded at a 52-week range of $20.81 to $35.36.

Crocs’ CEO sells more than 150,000 shares

After selling off thousands of shares in previous weeks, various Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) directors were once again telling the SEC that they had sold more shares of company stock. Insiders file Form 4s with the SEC to report transactions in their companies’ shares. Open market purchases and sales must be reported within two business days of the transaction.

Sellers include:

>> Michael E. Marks sold 100,000 shares of common stock on May 18 for $76 to $76.35 apiece.

>> CEO Ronald R. Snyder sold 133,334 shares on May 17 for $76.26 to $76.70 apiece. He sold an additional 125,000 shares on May 22 for $77.51 to $78.06 apiece.

>> Raymond D. Croghan sold 5,000 shares of common stock under a prearranged trading plan on May 22 for $77.36 to $77.60 apiece. The stock sale was conducted under a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan which allows company insiders to set up a program in advance for such transactions and proceed even if they come into possession of material nonpublic information.

Jarden extends CEO and CFO contracts

Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH) has extended the employment contracts for Chairman and CEO Martin Franklin and CFO Ian Ashken through Dec. 31, 2009. Jarden is the parent of Coleman and Campingaz, and recently acquired K2 Inc.

Franklin’s annual base salary was increased to $1.95 million and Ashken’s annual base salary was boosted to $900,000, effective as of Jan. 1, 2007, the company said in a filing with the SEC.

Franklin will also be eligible for a bonuses tied to the company achieving its earnings per share targets, and a discretionary bonus of up to 100 percent of his base salary based on performance.

The officers will receive annual grants of 230,000 shares and 95,000 shares of restricted stock respectively, subject to terms and conditions.

Hibbett Sports Q1 profit falls
Hit by difficult sales in April and weakness in some of its mall stores, first-quarter profit for Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) dropped 11 percent.

Quarterly earnings dropped to $10.2 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to net income of $11.5 million, or $0.35 per share, in the prior-year period. Sales rose to $133.8 million from $126.9 million. Hibbett said same-store sales rose 0.7 percent during the quarter.

Chairman and CEO Mickey Newsome said in a statement that the company performed well through the first nine weeks of the quarter, but conditions soured in April. Newsome also said some weakness in Hibbett’s urban enclosed mall stores offset good demand for its technical apparel, youth products and team sports equipment.

The company opened nine new stores in the quarter and closed two locations.

It added that it expects second-quarter earnings per share of 20 cents to 24 cents, while reaffirming its full-year profit forecast for $1.30 to $1.35 earnings per share.

Amer Sports exercises 2002 warrants
A total of 6,690 Amer Sports’ shares have been subscribed for as a result of an exercise of its 2002 warrants. The corresponding increase in the company’s share capital amounting to EUR 26,760 was registered on May 22. As a result of this increase, Amer Sports’ share capital now totals EUR 288.3 million (USD $387.90 million) and the total number of shares in issue is over 72 million. The new shares were listed on the Helsinki Exchanges on May 23. The subscription period of Amer Sport’s 2002 warrant scheme will end on Dec. 31, 2007.

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