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Outdoor financials: Quiksilver reports Q4 loss on goodwill impairments, charges, plus Outdoor Channel, GSI Commerce, Amer Sports, West Marine, Johnson Outdoors

Quiksilver reports Q4 loss on goodwill impairments and charges, Outdoor Channel Holdings CFO resigns, GSI Commerce falls on analyst downgrade, Amer Sports changes business segment reporting, West Marine names new CEO, and Johnson Outdoors to pay regular dividend.

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Quiksilver reports Q4 loss on goodwill impairments, charges

Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK), parent of Rossignol, said it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter because of goodwill impairments and charges.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, the company reported a loss of $110.9 million, or $0.89 per share, compared with a profit of $65.3 million, or $0.51 cents per share in the prior year quarter.

The company said its results included a loss of $0.05 per share from discontinued operations and asset impairments and related charges of $170.7 million. The company earned $0.51 per share from continuing operations excluding those items.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $779.2 million from $731.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

It said that revenue jumped 15 percent in the company’s Americas division, due to strong performance of apparel brands, but was partially offset by a 5 percent revenue decline in the Asia/Pacific segment. Revenue rose about 3 percent in the Europe unit.

It added that it expects to post a “small loss” in its fiscal 2008 first quarter. The company said its first quarter may be affected by a “challenging winter equipment market.”

Quiksilver said it will likely report revenue of about $600 million in the quarter. It expects to earn $0.70 per share during the full 2008 fiscal year with revenue of $2.7 billion.

Despite the disappointing outlook, a Morgan Stanley analyst said shares of Quiksilver are still a good buy. Analyst Brian McGough reiterated his “Overweight” rating on the stock He thinks the report is “noisy,” which means investors might overlook some good news.

Revenue grew 26 percent in the U.S. and 29 percent in Europe, while margins improved, wrote McGough.

“Clearly — the core business is healthy, and the results prove how much more diversified and global Quiksilver really is relative to competitors,” he wrote. McGough has an $18 target price on shares, implying the stock will double in value over the next 12 months.

Thomas Weisel Partners LLC Jim Duffy said the company’s 2008 outlook reflects a 30 percent tax rate, compared with a 27 percent tax rate in 2007. Duffy reduced his target price to $11 from $12 but reiterated a “Market Weight” rating on shares.

Quiksilver’s stock shed $1.26 to close at $8.91 on Dec. 14.

Outdoor Channel Holdings CFO resigns

William Owen has resigned from his roles as executive vice president and CFO of Outdoor Channel Holdings (Nasdaq: OUTD), but will advise the TV network operator as it prepares a late earnings report. No reason was given for the departure.

Outdoor Channel named its chief accounting officer, Shad L. Burke, as Owen’s interim replacement. Burke joined the company in October.

Owen will advise the company as needed through Dec. 15, 2008. Outdoor Channel said it expects him “to be active” through the filing of the company’s delayed third-quarter report and its 2007 annual report.

Last month, the Nasdaq Stock Market warned the company that it was not in compliance with the exchange’s listing requirements and could have its stock suspended. The company has said its earnings are late because its accountants have determined the company needs to increase the amount of past stock-based compensation costs it recognized in the first two quarters of the year.

GSI Commerce falls on analyst downgrade

Shares of GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC), which runs websites for retailers, dipped after a Jefferies & Co. analyst downgraded the stock, saying large discounts during the holiday season could pare GSI’s profit margins.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Ross MacMillan lowered his rating to “Hold” from “Buy” and reduced his price target to $26 per share from $30. He said many online retailers are offering discounts of up to 20 percent or 30 percent this year, which could cut into margins on inventory that GSI owns.

“While promotional discounting is typical during the holiday season, retailers are discounting more aggressively than expected as the season has played out,” he wrote in a client note. He added that discounts of 15 percent to 20 percent were “common.”

That could cancel out strong retail and online sales trends this season, MacMillan wrote, cutting his profit forecast to $0.29 per share, from $0.37 per share.

The stock dropped $3.75 to close at $20.25 on Dec. 14.

Amer Sports changes business segment reporting

Amer Sports said it is changing its segment reporting, redefining business segments as winter and outdoor; ball sports; and fitness. It noted that the new segment structure is in line with the group’s current organizational structure and management reporting.

The newly organized winter and outdoor segment includes winter sports equipment (Salomon winter sports equipment, Atomic and Bonfire); apparel and footwear (Salomon apparel and footwear and Arc’Teryx); cycling (Mavic); and sports instruments (Suunto)

Ball sports is comprised of Wilson’s racquet sports, team sports and golf divisions.

The fitness segment is made up of Precor’s fitness equipment division.

The company said the changes are effective immediately and financial statements for 2007 will be prepared accordingly. Amer Sports will report on its business segments based on IFRS requirements. Net sales figures will be reported only for the business areas.

West Marine names new CEO

West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) said President and CEO Peter Harris resigned and named board member Geoff Eisenberg as his successor. Harris, 63, will remain with the company until year end to help Eisenberg, 55, adjust to his new roles.

Eisenberg has served in various roles at West Marine from 1976 through 1994. He was also CEO of Salz Leathers and held the same position at Greenhorn Creek Associates.

Johnson Outdoors to pay regular dividend

Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) said its board approved a regular quarterly dividend of 5.5 cents per Class A share and 5 cents per Class B share. The company will pay the dividend Jan. 25 to shareholders of record Jan. 10.

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