Golf Biz: Callaway Has More Going on Than Just TopGolf

The reports of golf’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, especially when it comes to the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Callaway Golf Co.  Announcing its third quarter financial results on Oct. 21, Callaway revised its full year outlook, which included increasing its earnings guidance, according to MarketWatch.com.

Fighting the strength of the U.S. dollar when it comes to overseas sales — mainly in Europe and Japan — the company improved its net sales by a 4% over 2014, which translates to a very impressive 12% growth on a constant currency basis. 

“Overall, we are very pleased with our performance in the third quarter and the progress we have made in 2015,” Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway Golf Company, said.  “Our new products continue to perform well in the marketplace.  We have further strengthened our balance sheet, regained leadership in key product categories and markets, and our brand is sustaining its positive momentum. We also continue to be excited about our product pipeline as we move through 2015 and into 2016.”

For an industry that remains in flux, the Callaway report is a breath of fresh air — it is difficult to find double-digit revenue growth anywhere globally, much less within the golf industry. It is hard not to be bullish on Callaway, especially given recent Wall Street analysts’ praise surrounding Callaway’s investment in what is arguably the golf industry’s “best brand,” TopGolf.  Earlier this year, Scott Hamann, an analyst at KeyBanc Captital Markets, estimated that Callaway’s investment in TopGolf could be worth $3 per share — 40% of its market value — which in turn gives TopGolf an evaluation of more than $1 billion.

Elsewhere, Adidas hired investment bank Guggenheim Partners in August to assist in the possible sales of its golf brands, Adams, Ashworth and, possibly, TaylorMade after the company’s sinking golf sales “overshadowed otherwise strong second-quarter results,” according to Reuters.  Similarly, Acushnet Co., which owns brands such as Titleist, FootJoy and Pinnacle, is exploring the possibility of an initial public offering in early 2016, according to Bloomberg

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