Fitness financials: Brunswick maintains 2007 earnings forecast, plus GSI Commerce, Amer Sports, Costco

Brunswick maintained its 2007 earnings forecast, GSI Commerce shares fell on an analyst downgrade, Amer Sports changed its business segment reporting, and Costco's Q1 profit rose.

Brunswick maintains 2007 earnings forecast

Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness, Parabody and Hammer Strength, reported that it is maintaining its full-year earnings outlook. The company still anticipates 2007 net income between $1.20 and $1.30 per share.

Analysts predict a full-year profit of $1.26 per share, with the low end of estimates at $1.21 per share and the high end at $1.29 per share.

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 into three categories: 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 fitness segment is made up of Precor’s fitness equipment division and its related properties.

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).

The ball sports segment includes Wilson’s racquet sports, team sports and golf divisions.

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.

Costco Q1 profit rises

Costco Wholesale (Nasdaq: COST) said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 11 percent on increased sales and higher revenue from membership fees.

Costco reported earnings of $262 million, or $0.59 per share, for the 12 weeks ended Nov. 25, compared with $236.9 million, or $0.51 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Quarterly revenue rose 12 percent to $15.81 billion.

Same-store warehouse sales rose 8 percent during the quarter, while U.S. same-store sales grew 5 percent. Excluding the impact of rising gas prices, U.S. same-store sales increased 4 percent. International same-store sales surged 17 percent on favorable currency exchange rates and climbed 5 percent on a local currency basis.

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