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Callaway Sales Little Changed

First-quarter sales and earnings are roughly in line with its lowered estimates.
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Callaway Golf (ELY) reported first-quarter sales and earnings that were roughly in line with the lowered estimates it offered when it warned earlier this month.

The company had sales of $302.4 million compared with $299.9 million for the first quarter in 2005. Callaway, a maker of golf clubs and balls, said Thursday that it earned $22.9 million, or 33 cents a share, in the first quarter. A year ago, the company earned $18.4 million and 27 cents a share.

Earnings in the most recent quarter include charges of 2 cents a share for equity-based compensation and 1 cent a share for the integration of Top-Flite's operations. Before those items, Callaway would have earned 36 cents.

The Carlsbad, Calif., company said two weeks ago that first-quarter earnings would likely be 31 cents to 33 cents a share, or 34 cents to 36 cents before items. Callaway had said revenue would be around $300 million. Before Callaway reduced its estimates, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $330 million.

"We are pleased with the initial consumer acceptance of our new products this year and the fact that we achieved the second-highest first-quarter sales level in the history of the company," said George Fellows, president and CEO. "Achieving this level of sales was significant because product launches in the first quarter of 2006 were timed later in the quarter as compared with product launches last year."

Callaway added that while it remains "optimistic about significant improvement in 2006 earnings compared to last year, our focus is on our longer-term goals."