Although it’s only one quarter, Callaway Golf appears to be on its way in the metal woods market. The company, which has watched its metal woods sales erode the past few years, reported its metal woods sales increase to $90.7 million the first quarter of 2012 versus $80.1 million the first quarter of 2011.
That increase is testament to the new RAZR Fit driver and metals as well as the strong advertising and marketing campaign for the line. Given that Q1 number, it will be interesting to see Callaway’s metal woods sales numbers in Q2, traditionally the strongest sales period of the year for equipment companies. In other words, did Callaway use up most its ammo in Q1 or can it sustain the momentum in Q2? Only time will tell.
Overall in Q1, Callaway reported earnings of $32 million compared to $13 million the same quarter a year ago on sales of $285 million versus $286 million in Q1 of 2011.
The Q1 reporting period was Callaway’s first under new president and CEO Chip Brewer, who was hired away from Adams Golf this past February. The Q1 sales numbers don’t reflect Brewer’s influence, but other things in Q1 did have Brewer’s stamp, including Callaway’s settlement of its long-running golf ball patent litigation against Titleist parent Acushnet Company and the sale of its Top-Flite and Ben Hogan business units.
Callaway still faces many challenges – its irons, putter and golf ball sales each declines in Q1- but you have to like the direction the company under Brewer appears to be going.