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FINANCIAL TIMES: Earnings numbers have been coming in. Here's a look at three major golf companies' latest results:
 
TaylorMade Golf: TaylorMade-adidas Golf (it's important to keep in mind that the companies have combined their accounting) is high on records as the year draws to a close. The Big Five clubmaking power claims record sales for the third quarter ($85 million) and the year to date (nearly $340 million).
 
Although TaylorMade's reputation depends mostly on metalwoods, a company statement attributed third quarter success to sales of irons, as well as continued strength in the adidas footwear category.
Not all the news was stellar: Taylor's contribution to the third-quarter operating profit of its parent, adidas Salomon AG, was down 26 percent from the comparable period in 1999. Increased product development and other costs were the culprits, said TaylorMade officials. They characterized the setback as temporary, and were confident TaylorMade would turn in a record performance for 2000.
 
Adams Golf: Despite multiple whispers of respect for the club design work of founder Barney Adams, this company continues to worry investors. Worldwide sales for the latest third quarter were just less than $8.5 million, versus a little more than $9 million for the comparable quarter in 1999. The net loss of $6.2 million works out to a loss of 28 cents per share, versus 17 cents per share for the third quarter of 1999.
 
Still, Adams carries on optimistically, citing a domestic sales increase of more than 12 percent for the third quarter. Duffy Waldorf used new Adams irons to win the National Car Rental Classic at Walt Disney World Resort just in time for those clubs to be introduced to the public, which may give Adams a much-needed boost.
 
Wilson Golf: Golf sales at Wilson were up 13 percent to $45.2 million for the third quarter; year-to-date sales were up 12 percent to nearly $182 million. But operating profit contribution to parent
Amer Group of Helsinki, Finland was down due to intensified competition, said an Amer statement. Golf ball sales were flat compared to last year, and club sales were up slightly, the statement said. The forecast is for continued dips in operating profit, though.

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