At $82.5 million, revenues were a little lighter than analysts' expectations, but earnings per share beat estimates by a penny. And even though revenues grew 41% year over year and same-store sales climbed 1% on top of very tough comparisons from last year, shareholders were very disappointed that the company took revenue and earnings expectations down by roughly 3% for 2007. As a result, the stock fell nearly 17% Tuesday. To me, that seems a wee bit of overkill.
This is still a rather small retailer, with only about $200 million in fiscal 2006 sales, yet it grew sales by 50% last year and predicts 52%-57% growth this year. That's smoking! What really impresses me about this company is that it was founded by two former Best Buy
Furthermore, the company's well-planned approach to the golf superstore concept is paying dividends. The stores measure 13,000 to 18,000 square feet and are entirely devoted to golf merchandising, complete with in-store PGA professionals offering lessons and customized club fitting. In addition, the company offers used clubs and will take trade-ins as credit toward new clubs. Lastly, with its recent acquisition of GolfWorks, the company can continue expanding its offerings for golf components geared toward the DIY clubmaker. These are key distinctions, because they capture key attributes of the company's main competitors -- selection in the case of larger warehouse stores, PGA professionals from the local on-course pro shop, and knowledgeable customer service from the local small golf shop -- and combine them into a single unique offering.
With the likes of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods continuing to attract interest in their sport, golfing is a big business. In fact, Golf Galaxy estimates that industrywide sales total about $7.5 billion. With only about 61 stores now, a plan to grow 14 to 16 new stores a year, and a management estimate that 250 stores can be supported, Golf Galaxy presents a nice growth opportunity.
The company plays in a highly fragmented industry, but it can take a cue from Best Buy, which has been quite successful in gaining share by opening bigger stores and offering customers good merchandise at good prices. Golf Galaxy's addressable market is much smaller, and its track record still rather short. But while its guidance may be a bit of a wayward tee shot this time around, the underlying story still looks strong.
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