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Home CALLAWAY RAISES EXPECTATIONS

The third quarter in golf doesn’t reflect the best of times for most equipment companies. Typically this is when it becomes a very costly business to be in. Over the last ten years, Callaway Golf has reported operating losses, cumulatively, in excess of $201 million in just its third quarter alone. Only once in that period has it turned a profit. But that was back in 2007, when the equipment giant was under the steady hand of George Fellows who wasn’t afraid to stuff the retail channels with anything and everything. Case in point, Callaway’s 2007 third quarter sales were $235.5 million, which resulted in an operating profit of $1.3 million! Meanwhile, back to the future, Callaway Golf reported 2015 third quarter sales were up $7 million from 2014, coming in at $176 million. According to the company, unfavorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates during the quarter negatively impacted sales by $13 million. However, the bottom line was more of the same for the maker of Big Bertha as it recorded a net loss of $4 million. In the 2014 third quarter, Callaway reported a net loss of $1.1 million.

Digging a little deeper into its third quarter sales, metal woods ($48.4 million) were down $2.974 million from a year ago. Iron sales ($42.5 million) improved by $6.1 million and putter sales ($17.2 million) were higher by $3.7 million over 2014. Golf balls sales ($29.25 million) were up $4 million but golf gear and accessory sales ($38.4 million) were off $3.7 million during the reporting period.

Sales in the United States were $86.98 million for the quarter, an increase of $12.45 million from 2014. European sales ($26.7 million) were up modestly by $2.1 million. Japanese sales ($33.623 million) were down $1.467 million, while the rest of Asia ($16.855 million) was lower by $4.881 million in the quarter. The remaining foreign countries that Callaway sees sales delivered $11.623 million in the quarter, down $1 million from 2014’s third quarter.

The overall increase in sales, despite the challenges presented to the business by the strong American dollar, has given it reason to revised its full year net sales estimates to $835 - $840 million (as compared to its prior estimate of $830 - $840 million). Through nine months, Callaway has already reported $690.5 million in sales. It also increased its earnings outlook to $0.12 - $0.15 in earnings per share (as compared to its prior estimate of $0.01 - $0.06 earnings per share). Through nine months, it has produced $0.53 per diluted share in earnings. Therefore, it implies the fourth quarter sales will be higher but it will also lose money but not enough to wipe out its year-to-date profit. In fact, the company expects to see its bottom line improve significantly over 2014 when the year concludes. In 2014, Callaway reported sales of $135 million and a loss of $42 million or $0.54 per share.