Columbia Sportswear reports narrower-than-expected loss

Second quarter sales for Columbia Sportswear have historically been the lowest in the year. By John Yoo

Outdoor apparel retailer Columbia Sportswear Co. announced a wider net loss for the second quarter, which was nevertheless better than its April forecast due to stronger sales than expected.

In addition, the company raised its outlook for 2010 sales to increase 14 to 16 percent from April prior guidance of 12 to 14 percent. Sales in 2009 totaled $1.24 billion.

Shares of Columbia rose 10 cents in after-hours trading Thursday to $48.32, adding to the more than 4 percent gain during regular trading, in which shares rose $1.96 to close at $48.22.

The Portland, Oregon-based company reported its net loss widened to $10.6 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, from $9.9 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. The loss was narrower than the analysts’ estimate of 42 cents per share.

Christopher Svezia, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group LLP., a global investment and trading firm based in Bala Cynwyd, P.A., said fewer order cancellations and closeouts contributed to the higher-than-expected sales.

Seasonally, the company’s revenues for the second quarter are usually the lowest in the year, historically accounting for approximately 15 percent of annual sales.

Total revenues for the second quarter were $221.83 million, up 24 percent from $179.3 million in the year-earlier period. Approximately 55 percent of the total sales were generated in the U.S., with a strong increase of 27 percent from the year-earlier period. Sales in Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions accounted for 23 percent of the sales and saw an increase of 30 percent from the year-earlier period.

General and administrative expenses rose 23 percent in the quarter to $113.46 million, from $92.25 million a year earlier.

For the third quarter, analysts estimate $497.71 million in revenues and a net income of $1.63 cents per diluted share, compared with total revenues of $434.47 million and a net income $1.38 per diluted share, reported in the year-earlier period.

Columbia’s president and chief executive officer Tim Boyle said despite the uncertain consumer retail environment, he remains optimistic about the fall launch of new thermal technology system Omni-Heat.

The company’s net loss for the six months ended June 30 was $1.4 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2.9 million, or 9 cents per diluted share in the year-earlier period. Total revenues increased 16 percent to $522.24 million from $451.23 million.

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