June 27, 2005 – Finance Digest
June 27, 2005
Filed under Features
Oakley Opens in London
Oakley, Inc. (NYSE:OO) has opened what it calls a “flagship” O Store located in the Covent Garden area of London. This latest addition to the company’s expanding domestic and international retail presence will be owned and operated by Oakley’s wholly owned subsidiary, Oakley U.K. Ltd.
“The U.K. represents a very important international market and the London O Store provides the ideal place to showcase our international brand and full range of product offerings,” said Oakley COO Link Newcomb.
Armed with the widest, most comprehensive inventory of Oakley innovations, the O Store offers a full selection of the company’s premium sunglasses, prescription eyewear frames, footwear, apparel, electronics, watches and accessories. Additionally, the O Store offers customers an unusual venue to preview new Oakley products.
Worldwide, Oakley now operates 43 company-owned O Stores and Vaults discount operations, including locations in Australia, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. There are also seven other international locations operating as licensed stores in Austria, Australia, Chile, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the company operates 90 sunglass specialty stores through its wholly owned Icon subsidiary under seven separate retail concepts including: Sunglass Designs, Sporting Eyes, Occhiali da Sole, Oakley Icon, Optica, Sunglass Club and Sunglass Icon.
Trailing-12-month net sales through March 31, 2005 totaled $598.6 million and generated net income of $44.7 million.
In other news, Oakley announced that Greg Trojan and Colombe Nicholas have been added to the company’s board of directors. Trojan currently serves as the CEO of House of Blues Entertainment and its divisions. Ms. Nicholas, former president and CEO of The Anne Klein Company and Giorgio Armani Fashion Corp, is a consultant with Finaco Global Consulting.
Hartman to Retire from UTI
Robert Hartman, chairman of the board of Universal Technical Institute (UTI), a provider of technical education training, said he plans to retire as an executive officer of the company, effective Sept. 30, 2005. Hartman will continue to serve as a member of UTI’s board of directors. John White, the company’s vice chairman and chief strategic planning officer, will assume the role of chairman of the board.
UTI offers specialized technical education programs under the banner of several well-known brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI). In 2005, UTI is scheduled to serve more than 15,000 students at eight campuses and 22 manufacturer-specific dedicated training centers throughout the country.
Hartman served with UTI for 26 years and steered the company through its initial public offering. White was chairman and CEO of Motorcycle and Marine Mechanics Institute for 21 years prior to its merger with UTI in 1998.
Cycle Country Focuses on Building Dealer Relationships
Cycle Country Accessories Corporation (AMEX:ATC), the Medford, Iowa, designer and manufacturer of custom-fitting accessories for utility ATVs, said it has embarked on an extensive relationship building campaign with dealers of all Cycle Country Accessories products.
By the end of July, company representatives plan to have visited more than 100 dealers.
“Relationships are what drive business,” said Ron Hickman, Cycle Country president and CEO. “We’re not making a sales call. We’re building value. We’re seeing how we can be of better service to our dealers and ultimately our customers.”
Cycle Country currently has more than 200 Elite Dealers across the country. To qualify for the Elite program, dealers must purchase 20 or more snowplows on one purchase order.
Carlisle Affirms Guidance
Richmond D. McKinnish, CEO and president of Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL), Charlotte, N.C., told participants at the KeyBanc Capital Markets 2005 Industrial & Automotive Conference in Boston, MA.,that the company expects to earn between $4.10 and $4.25 earnings per diluted share from continuing operations during the full year of 2005 .Details are available in the Investor Relations section of the company’s Web site at www.carlisle.com.
Carlisle is a diversified global manufacturing company serving the construction materials, commercial roofing, specialty tire and wheel, power transmission, heavy-duty brake and friction, foodservice, data transmission and process systems industries.
Deere Woos Consumers
John Deere, the huge international farm equipment manufacturer and the distributor of ATVs built by BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) has seen sales of equipment to consumers and businesses slip lately. And it is working to turn around that situation.
Sales in the company’s commercial and consumer equipment division fell 6% to $1.23 billion in the second quarter ended on April 30. Deere blamed poor weather.
Now Deere hopes it is building a stronger future with the creation of a venture with the Lowe’s home-improvement chain and by using builders to showcase its products.
Deere on recently repeated its forecast of flat to 3% sales growth at the division for the fiscal year. “The consumer markets are not exactly robust,” one analyst told reporters.
Deere, which already sells its lawn tractors through Home Depot Inc. and other retailers, said that Lowe’s Cos. will begin carrying them in January.
The move is part of Deere’s drive to attract high-end consumers. “Most of our product is geared at the middle and upper end of the marketplace, and we tend to … be very careful in positioning ourselves,” Jenkins said. “You aren’t going to find us to be the lowest-priced machines.”
In another attempt to increase sales, Deere is starting a pilot program with St. Lawrence Homes, according to news reports.
The builder plans to develop the first John Deere Signature Community. Deere will supply landscaping equipment and services, included in the purchase price of the houses, which range from $300,000 to $500,000.
Home buyers in the Trenton community in Durham, N.C., can choose a Deere landscaping service plan or a package of tools that includes a $2,700 riding mower, a $219 handheld blower and other high-end products.