The fourth-quarter loss narrowed from a year ago at

Callaway Golf

(ELY) - Get Report

but still came in wider than Wall Street had hoped.

The Carlsbad, Calif., clubmaker lost $28.5 million, or 42 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $33.4 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales slipped 1.6% to $144.4 million. Pro forma to eliminate an integration charge in the latest quarter, the loss was $25.3 million, or 37 cents a share.

Analysts had been expecting a loss of 30 cents a share on the latter basis, and sales of $138 million.

"Our fourth-quarter results reflect the pricing initiatives taken midyear, to reduce inventory levels at retail prior to the start of 2005," Callaway said. "Reports from the field indicate that our efforts have met with success, and we enter 2005 in far better position than six months ago."

The stock lost 50 cents, or 3.9%, to $12.31.