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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for March 8, 2018

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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 47                                                         
Thursday, March 8, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I think I've come around very quickly. I've only played ten rounds. So, I know people are saying that I've been, you know, erratic, little inconsistent but ten rounds, it's not that many. I looked up some of my stats last night, I wanted to see how I ranked. I'm not even on the rankings. I haven't played enough rounds. That's basically how my comeback has been so far this year. I haven't played a lot.”

BRAIN TEASER: How many multiple winners are there on the PGA TOUR this season?

HOW’S BIZ? Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE: GOLF) reported financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017. The company reported sales of $351.4 million, an increase of $21.6 million or 6.6% or by 6.4% on a constant currency basis, from 2016. According to the company, FootJoy golf wear and the Titleist golf ball segments drove the sales increase. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $40.9 million, an improvement of $2.8 million from the same period in 2016.

“We are pleased with our results for the fourth quarter, in which we delivered solid growth across both the Titleist and FootJoy brands,” said David Maher, Acushnet’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our industry leading Pro V1 franchise had an excellent quarter, and we had continued strong demand for our latest product introductions, including our new Titleist 718 irons and 818 hybrids and our new FootJoy LTS outerwear. Overall, we ended 2017 on a high note with strong brand momentum as we head into the new year.”

Consolidated net sales for the full-year 2017 were $1,56 million, a decrease of $12 million from 2016. Net income for the year was $92.1 million, an increase of $47.1 million or 104.7% from 2016. It came as a result of lower interest expense and higher income from operations partially offset by higher income tax expense.

“We are optimistic about 2018 as the golf industry continues to become more structurally sound,” continued Maher. “We have also launched a number of exciting new products including Titleist Tour Soft and Velocity golf balls, Vokey Design SM7 wedges, Scotty Cameron Select putters and FootJoy Tour-S golf shoes. Our valued Associates and trade partners have done a great job executing on our strategy and we believe their commitment to best serving the dedicated golfer will continue to drive our success this year and beyond.”

On a geographic basis, consolidated net sales in the United States decreased by 1.8% in the twelve-month period. Net sales in the United States were impacted by a reduced store count as a result of the continued impact of retail channel disruptions that occurred in 2016 as well as unfavorable weather conditions, which negatively impacted both rounds of play and golf club fitting and trial activities, the company reported. Acushnet posted a 0.3% year-on-year increase in net sales in regions outside the United States, up 1.5% on a constant currency basis, with Korea up 11.3% and EMEA up 1.0% partially offset by Japan down 4.6%.

Titleist golf balls were down 0.4% (0.1% decrease on a constant currency basis). This decrease, the company said was primarily a result from a sales volume decline of its performance golf ball models, which were in their second year of the two-year product life cycle and largely offset by a sales volume increase of its newly introduced Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

Titleist golf clubs sales were down 7.7% or 6.9% decrease on a constant currency basis. It reported lower sales volume in drivers and fairways launched in 2016, coupled with wedges that were in their second model year. The declines were partially offset by the launch of Titleist’s new irons in September of 2017.

Titleist golf gear increased by 4.9%, 5.2% on a constant currency basis. This increase was primarily driven by higher average selling prices in all categories and higher sales volume growth in the travel category.

FootJoy golf wear came in 1% higher or 2% on a constant currency basis. It was primarily driven by sales volume increases in apparel, partially offset by a sales volume decline in footwear.

Acushnet is forecasting net sales in the range of $1,590 to 1,620 million in 2018. On a constant currency basis it is anticipated to be in the range of up 1.3% to 3.2% in 2018.

TRIMMING THEIR POSITIONS: Callaway Golf’s CEO and President, Oliver G. (Chip) Brewer III sold 40,000 shares on Tuesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.00, for a total transaction of $640,000.00. Following the sale, Brewer still directly owns 391,064 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,257,024. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website.

Callaway Golf Co (NYSE:ELY) SVP Richard H. Arnett also sold 8,193 shares on Tuesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.00, for a total value of $131,088.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,241 shares in the company, valued at $323,856. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink.

WARNING SIGNS? Attendance at the Golf Industry Show this year dropped to its lowest point since 1986, long before the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association merged together to form the annual trade show. The Golf Industry Show premiered in 2005 with 22,723 attendees. The Club Managers Association of America joined in 2006, helping to boost the number of exhibitors to an all-time high of 981 in 2007. Prior to 2005, the GCSAA averaged 20,000 attendees for its international show. Then CEO, Steve Mona, felt a combined show would reduce expenses and strengthen facility management. It would also promote a team concept, bringing professionals together for education and networking that would translate to stronger teams at individual golf courses. READ MORE>>>

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW? It’s a conflict nearly as old as the Royal & Ancient game.
The debate over golf balls in particular surfaced in the mid-1850s when Allan Robertson was making the featherie and had a falling out with his apprentice, Old Tom Morris, when he switched over to the gutta percha.

Tiger Woods used a replica of the gutta percha during a practice round at St. Andrews before the 2000 British Open. He drove his Nike golf ball to the edge of the ninth green. He hit driver and a 5-iron just over the green with the guttie.

One more anecdote from St. Andrews: The R&A was so concerned about how far players were hitting the modern golf ball that it lengthened the Old Course, along with adding pot bunkers, to protect against low scores. That was the Haskell golf ball, which replaced the gutta percha. The year was 1905. READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

THE BUZZ IS BACK: “I haven’t seen a whole lot of him the last few years since he’s been hurt and trying to come back,” Spieth said. “But we all hope for that Sunday afternoon pairing alongside all us young guys. We want that chance to be able to battle it out with him on Sunday. I know he wants that, too, to show us what he’s done to other people. Even if it’s not 2000 Tiger, it’s still Tiger on a Sunday,” he said. “And that’s something that would be an experience we haven’t had before.” READ MORE>>>

MOVE TO SUMMER TO AVOID BEING WATERED DOWN: The much-maligned Evian Championship in France will move to a July date from September starting in 2019 and become the world’s second richest women’s tournament, the LPGA said. The women’s major became a laughing stock last year when rain and wind were so bad that tournament officials wiped out first-round scores and shortened the championship to 54 holes, a move that was widely panned as unworthy of a major. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “I think I've come around very quickly. I've only played ten rounds. So, I know people are saying that I've been, you know, erratic, little inconsistent but ten rounds, it's not that many. I looked up some of my stats last night, I wanted to see how I ranked. I'm not even on the rankings. I haven't played enough rounds. That's basically how my comeback has been so far this year. I haven't played a lot.”--who else but Tiger!

There are currently two multiple winners on the PGA TOUR this season. Patton Kizzire won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and the Sony Open. Justin Thomas won the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and the Honda

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. THE OPINION EXPRESSED IS THAT OF TERRY MCANDREW AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES IN ANY OF THE COMPANIES DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS NEWSLETTER. CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER MAY NOT BE REPRINTED OR REBROADCAST WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT OF TMAC GOLF