Outdoor financials: Johnson Outdoors NY plant resumes production, plus Crocs, Outdoor Channel

Johnson Outdoors' New York plant is running again, and it received a military tent order, Crocs shares rose on an analyst upgrade, and the Outdoor Channel hired consultants to review its market position.

Johnson Outdoors’ NY plant running again, receives military tent order
Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT) said that production has resumed at its Binghamton, N.Y., plant, which has been temporarily closed after heavy rains caused flooding in parts of the northeastern United States in late June. The factory employs 200 people and designs, manufactures and markets Eureka tents for consumer, commercial and military use, and outdoor compasses and digital instruments under the Silva brand.

All production employees have been called back to work, and military and commercial tent production has resumed. Shipments from the Company’s finished goods warehouse to consumer and commercial customer accounts were not affected by the temporary plant closure. Administrative offices will continue to operate from a temporary location until interior renovations are completed.

The company took a charge of $1.2 million in the 2006 third fiscal quarter; however, the full financial impact of the business interruption is not yet known. It said it will be able to make a determination near the end of the 2006 fiscal fourth quarter on the total amount of recoverable losses, and expects its insurance coverage will indemnify the balance of those losses.

On August 21, Johnson Outdoors was awarded a $2.9 million order for the one-person combat tent with anticipated delivery from November 2006 through July 2007. The company said it continues to expect fiscal 2006 military sales will be in the $30 million to $35 million range.

Crocs shares rise on analyst upgrade
Shares of Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) were on the rise Aug. 28, elevated by a thumbs-up from Wedbush Morgan Securities predicting strong growth for the company. Shares of Crocs rose $0.55, or 2.1 percent, to $27.21 on the Nasdaq.

Wedbush Morgan said it raised its rating on Crocs to “Buy” from “Hold,” citing “exceptional” channel checks in the second and third quarters, rapid growth of its international business, and an expanded product line including licenses that can drive further growth.

“During the second quarter, the company increased its international sales by over 10 times — from $2.6 million to $27.6 million — and increased its international door count from 1,500 to 4,000,” analyst Jeff Mintz wrote in a client note. “These increases suggest that Crocs is not just a U.S. phenomenon, but appeals to an international consumer as well.”

The company has also signed licenses with Walt Disney Co. and various colleges that would allow it to sell Crocs footwear based on various Disney characters, or bearing the name of the college or university.

Outdoor Channel hires consultants to review market position
Outdoor Channel Holdings (Nasdaq: OUTD) has hired two cable industry consultants, Cathy Rasenberger and Jeff Wayne, to assist the company in finding “potential opportunities that could help expand the channel’s leadership in its genre.” Rasenberger previously was senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for The Food Network, and Wayne was a former president of the Food Network and Great American Country.

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