Outdoor financials: Quiksilver lowers forecast, shares drop, plus Field & Stream Licenses acquired by investment group, Johnson Outdoors, Kellwood, Hanesbrands

Quiksilver lowers forecast and shares drop, Field & Stream Licenses acquired by investment group, Johnson Outdoors reups with U.S. military, Kellwood elects board member, and Sara Lee spin-off company debuts on NYSE.

Quiksilver lowers forecast, shares drop
Shares of Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK), parent of Rossignol, fell in trading on Sept. 8, a day after the company reported lower fiscal third-quarter profits and cut its current-quarter forecast.

Quiksilver shares dropped $1.47 to close at $12.17 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has ranged between $10.63 and $16.12 over the past year.

After market close on Sept. 7, Quiksilver reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $5.3 million, or $0.04 per share. It lowered its fourth-quarter earnings estimate to $0.51 per share, from a previous guidance range of $0.54 to $0.55 per share. The company also forecast fiscal 2007 profit of $0.88 to $0.92 per share, below analyst expectations of $1.01 per share.

The results prompted brokerage Morgan Keegan & Co. to lower its rating on Quiksilver to “Market Perform” from “Outperform.”

“For the past year we have been recommending Quiksilver based on our belief that management would make Rossignol ‘work,'” analyst Brad Stephens wrote in a client note. “Although progress is being made, we’re hard pressed to argue for a higher multiple in the near-term given lowered guidance.”

Field & Stream Licenses acquired by investment group
Field & Stream Licenses Company and its trademark assets have been purchased by a group of investors led by Barry Sternlicht, Michael Tewey and Larry Martin. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded 134 years ago by Gordon & Ferguson Co., Field & Stream Licenses Company currently owns more than 115 U.S. and international trademark registrations covering more than 600 products, along with ‘Intent to Use’ registrations for an additional 250 products. It also owns the Field & Stream trademark for products in 43 countries including China and the European Union. The company is not associated with Field & Stream Magazine, which is owned by Time Warner Corp.

The investment group said in a statement that it intends to leverage the Field & Stream brand into new high-quality, affordably priced outdoor products — ranging from apparel, home products, sporting equipment and food — and other services. The group will pursue a series of new relationships with manufacturers, private label suppliers and mass retailers who can deliver the quality products consumers expect from Field & Stream to a wide audience. In addition, the group expects to develop new sales and distribution channels through web-based partnerships.

The company will be based in Westport, Conn., and run by Tewey and Martin on a day-to-day basis. Sternlicht will serve as the company’s chairman.

Johnson Outdoors reups with U.S. military
Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) reported that, along with six other unrelated vendors, it has been tapped for a contract covering a variety of military shelters, trailers and other military supply components. This marks the second year of the contract, originally announced in September 2005.

The pact has a minimum value of $25,000 and is worth up to $96 million for all companies involved. Johnson, which got orders worth $19.7 million last year under the same contract, said it has not received any firm orders under the new award.

Kellwood elects board member
Kellwood (NYSE: KWD), parent of Sierra Designs and Kelty, has elected Philip B. Miller to its board of directors, replacing Martin Bloom who retired from the board in June. He will become a member of the compensation committee.

Miller, a 40-year veteran in the retail and apparel industry, held key senior level positions within the most elite retailers during his career, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshall Field’s and Neiman Marcus. Since his retirement from Saks in 2001, he has worked as a consultant to global retailers and apparel manufacturers through his own firm, Philip B. Miller Associates, in addition to serving as an operating director of Tri-Artisan Capital Partners.

Sara Lee spin-off company debuts on NYSE
Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI) shares rose more than 6 percent on Sept. 6, as investors rallied behind the stock’s first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Credit Suisse predicted strong earnings growth for the Sara Lee spin-off company. After its first day of trading, shares closed at $21.11, up $1.31 from its $19.80 opening.

Hanesbrands, formerly known as Sara Lee Branded Apparel, was spun off from packaged foods company Sara Lee, which in 2005 announced its intention to spin off the unit, which includes Duofold, in order to focus on its core food, beverage and household products business. In connection with the spin-off, Hanesbrands made a one-time payment of $2.4 billion to Sara Lee.

In a client note, Credit Suisse analyst Omar Saad said Hanesbrands’ unique position as middleman and manufacturer, as well as huge volumes, would help outweigh competition from private label brands. Profit margins will also improve once the company starts to shift more functions overseas, Saad added. He initiated coverage of the company with an “Outperform” rating and $25 target price.

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