Golfsmith International Holdings' CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc. ( GOLF)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

October 27, 2011 09:00 ET

Executives

Jean Fontana – ICR

Martin Hanaka – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Sue Gove – Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

Analysts

Jennifer Davis – Lazard Capital Markets

Casey Alexander – Gilford Securities

Alex Silverman – Special Situations Fund

Presentation

Operator

Please standby. We are about to begin. Good day everyone and welcome to the Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc. Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. For opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to Jean Fontana of ICR. Please go ahead, ma’am.

Jean Fontana – ICR

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today to discusses Golfsmith third quarter 2011 earnings results. As a reminder, our presentation includes, and responses to various questions may include, forward-looking statement about the company’s financial results and about future plans and objectives. Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause the actual results and the implementation of the company’s plans and operations to vary materially. These risks are discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. We issued a press release this morning. If you have not received a copy, you can find it on our website or by calling Investor Relations at 203-682-8200.

Presenting on the call today, we have Golfsmith’s Chairman and CEO, Martin Hanaka as well as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Sue Gove.

With that I’ll turn the call over to Marty.

Martin Hanaka – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jean, and appreciate it. Also with us in Austin, Texas are Jim Eliasberg, our General Counsel, Anna Jobe, our Vice President-Controller, and Jeff Laforce, Senior Member of our accounting team.

I’m really pleased with the quarter, couldn’t be more pleased with the momentum that we’ve driven. As you shift through the numbers, a couple of headlines, you will see apples-to-apples in the quarter or an apple-to-apples in the year we are $0.11 versus $0.01 comparably and then year-to-date $0.43 against $0.11. So this is a great year-to-date performance as we’ve promise to get back to profitability and again really pleased with the results.

If we look at the top line, July was a solid month for us. We went in a trough in August frankly and that was right around the time of the drama around the debt ceiling limit, and the Obama downgrade. We have five or six weeks through the August where we missed our plan by 2% to 8%. We also rough flooding in early September as Irene came Berlin to the northeast. In fact, the northeast was down 25% for a couple of weeks which had a 5% impact on our total for those two weeks, but when you step back and look at it, we came back really strong in September with 6%, 6%, 10% and 4% comp, so overall 3.4% comp and we overcame that August softness. We comped 11 out of 13 weeks, so really pleased with the top line.

What’s also interesting is our traffic is essentially flat. Our conversion was flat, then we had increased AOV of 3% to 4% which gave us the kind of lift we had for the quarter. This is now four straight quarters of solid growth for Golfsmith and as we head into the balance of the year we think there’s all the reason to think it’ll be any less, keeping in mind that December is very heavy in the fourth quarter. It’s our second largest volume month of the year than October and November numbers 10 and 11. So we think this trend will continue particularly with the strong December.

Our EPS, as we said, is 10x on a comparable basis and 4x excluding these non-recurring items and our new stores are performing quite well. Our new stores that we've opened this year running 104% of their business plan and our last eight stores that we've opened under our new real estate model are running around 102% of plan. So we really feel we've got a lot of confidence in our ability to open new stores successfully.

Apparel was our strongest quarter as it has been all year long. Our web demand was up 17%, our proprietary business grew by over 12% and we are absolutely gaining our market share. We use Golf Datatech as the authority in the industry, the off-course space is what they measure, that’s the most important space where we compete in. if you look at units or dollars across the board, year-to-date through August, we’re up anywhere from 13% to 18%. Our growth measured against the industry. So we really fell the bottom line here is that we’re gaining share, we’re gaining momentum. We’ve improved our profits and we think that’s a bi-product of just strong management team that we’ve been able to put together here in the last two, three years. The fact that we have diversely in our geography, so we can overcome an event like we did with hurricane Irene this year, where the beneficiaries of the industry consolidation is taking place, the multichannel model and one of the things we did in our research is really understand our customers better in their cross shopping patterns and frankly a customer that shops two or more channels is worth at least four times where the single channel shopper is. So that understand on how we go to market and execute against that I think is helping us.

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