CALLAWAY SALES DOWN IN THIRD QUARTER: It's too early to say whether the events of September 11 had anything to do with it. But Callaway Golf, seen by Wall Street analysts as an industry bellwether, reported declines in sales and net income for the third quarter, which ended 19 days after the terrorist attacks.
Net sales for the third quarter dipped 6 percent compared to the comparable quarter in 2000, from $208.1 million to $195.8 million. Net income dropped 67 percent over that time, from $20.1 million to $6.5 million. But there's an accounting proviso here: Callaway took a charge of $7.8 million to reflect its entry into a five-year energy contract as a hedge against the unstable electricity situation in California, where Callaway is located. With that charge backed out of the figures, net income for the third quarter was $14.3.
With the electricity contract charge figured in, earnings per share were 9 cents (compared with 29 cents for the third quarter of 2001), but without the charge, per-share earnings were 20 cents, a penny more than the amount Wall Street analysts predicted.
Sales for the nine months ended Sept. 30 were $710.9 million, up 2 percent from sales of $695.4 million for the first nine months of 2000.
Going into what is traditionally a soft quarter, Callaway's inventory number of $145.2 million is a little high, and the company has admitted it's monitoring the figure. But predictions are for annual sales of between $800 million and $820 million for 2001, with gross margins about half that figure.
TITLEIST RELEASES NEW DCI MODELS: Continuing with its mantra of serious clubs for serious golfers, Titleist & FootJoy Worldwide has brought out two new models.
The DCI 762 will replace the 990 series as the company's flagship iron. It features a thin face and a cavity insert made of carbon and metallized Mylar. The insert provides a muscled-up feel without adding extra mass in the cavity, Titleist says. Suggested retail per club will be $108 for steel shafts and $156 with Titleist's proprietary GAT graphite shaft.
The DCI 822OS, with its thin face and high-volume cavity, is designed for players of all skill levels who prefer an oversize, offset clubhead. Suggested retail per stick will be $108 for steel shafts and $130 for graphite.
SATIN FINISH FLATSTICKS FROM PING: That elegant non-shine finish never seems to go out of style on putters. On Nov. 1, Ping will release five new putters of 17-4 stainless steel with that popular finish.
The names are typical Ping, alternating between whimsical and scientific: PENGYO, PENGYO Isopur2, VSL, VSL Isopur2 and lil' b.
The PENGYO boasts a flange design that not only pleases the eye, but also keeps the club's center of gravity low, says Ping. (PENGYO means 'friend' in Mandarin.)
The VSL has ridges on the flange that throw shadows, which combine to form a sight line, Ping says.