Acushnet’s solid results driven by Pro V1 success

Acushnet Co., the golf division of Fortune Brands, posted solid third-quarter numbers for the period ending Sept. 30 despite continued softness in the golf market and a worsening economy.

Net sales of golf products, which include the Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra brands, rose 3 percent to $218.3 million from $212 million during the same three-month period a year ago. Operating company contributions increased to $25.8 million from $25.5 million – a gain of 1.2 percent.

The growth of those numbers is largely the result of a 7 percent jump in ball sales for the third quarter. A good part of that success can be attributed to the Pro V1 ball, which has recorded a 20 percent dollar share in the on-course, green-grass channel, according to Casey Alexander, special situations analyst for Gilford Securities in New York.

“Acushnet is producing sales growth under very adverse circumstances,” Alexander said. “Therefore, they are taking truly meaningful market share away from their competition. And the Pro V1 dollar share is ridiculous. It’s a single ball, and it has a higher market share in that channel than any of its competitors’ full lines.”

As for all of Fortune Brands, the consumer products company saw its net sales for the third quarter rise 5.4 percent over the corresponding period a year ago to $1.47 billion, while net income climbed 26.6 percent to $92.8 million.

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