Why Callaway Golf Shares Were on the Leaderboard

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY  ) were headed straight for the pin today, finishing the day with a 20% gain after a better-than-expected third-quarter earnings report.

So what: The golf equipment maker said sales from continuing operations jumped 38% on a constant-currency basis, or 21% without those adjustments, to $178 million, while its adjusted EPS loss improved from $0.50 a year ago, to $0.18. Both numbers topped analyst expectations at a per-share loss of $0.28 on sales of $152.6 million. CEO Chip Brewer noted that "market conditions during the third quarter were better than anticipated due to improvements in weather and (more) rounds played in both Europe and the Americas." Brewer also cited improvements in market share and operating efficiencies for driving the company's turnaround strategy, which included the sale of the Top Flite and Ben Hogan brands last year.

Now what: Callaway also lifted its full-year guidance in the report, now calling for sales of $836 million, up from $810-$820 million, and ahead of the analyst consensus at $814 million. It expects adjusted per-share earnings between -$0.03 and $0.01, up from -$0.12 to -$0.04, while analysts had expected a loss of $0.07. The golf specialist appears to be firing on all cylinders after today's report. Look for analysts to raise estimates after Callaway's improved numbers as it looks like the company is well on its way to solid profits in 2014.

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