Columbia Sportswear Posts Q2 Loss

According to the Portland Business Journal:

With consumer confidence bloodied by the poor U.S. economy, Columbia Sportswear Co. on Thursday began to show bruises of its own.

The Portland-area sportswear maker (NASDAQ: COLM) reported a loss of $1.8 million, or 5 cents per share, for the second quarter that ended June 30. A year earlier, Columbia reported income of $10 million, or 27 cents per share, for the quarter.

That came far below estimates from analysts polled by Thomson Financial who had expected earnings of 4 cents per share.

Sales dropped to $213.1 million, a three percent decrease from the same quarter of 2007.

While the company’s attempts to boost its foreign presence showed signs of success — sales were up 13 percent across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 20 percent in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region — the gains were offset by an 18 percent drop in U.S. sales.

Blame for the dim results was placed largely on the weak U.S. economy, which CEO Tim Boyle expects to continue to dent the company’s performance.

Looking forward, the company said it expects third quarter sales to drop 4 percent compared to 2007’s third quarter. Earnings per share for the third quarter are expected to come in at $1.44 compared to $1.72.

For the full year, Columbia is expecting operating margins of about 10 percent and earnings per share of about $2.60 to $2.70.

“The current weak retail environment is significantly affecting our business and reducing our visibility,” Boyle said in a news release. “Most of our large retail partners have stated their intention to manage their consolidated inventories down over the course of 2008. Reduced consumer spending levels and tighter credit markets have caused retailers to request unusual and unpredictable levels of order delays and cancellations.”

Shares of Columbia were down 12 percent in after hours trading Thursday to $35 per share. Columbia’s stock price closed at $39.81, down about 4.3 percent from Wednesday’s closing price.