Callaway Golf President Chip Brewer told Wall Street analysts yesterday afternoon that with the hirings of golf industry veterans Rock Ishii and Sean Toulon “You should expect a healthier, stronger, more long-term favorable Callaway Golf business.’’
Callaway announced yesterday – before it reported its 3Q numbers – that it hired Ishii as Sr. Director, Advanced Golf Ball Research. Ishii held a similar position at Nike Golf, which this past summer announced it’s leaving the ball and clubs businesses.
Toulon is a former senior vice president at TaylorMade-adidas Golf who last year founded Toulon Design, a custom putter company. Callaway acquired the company earlier this summer.
“These are not short-term investments,’’ Brewer said. “You won’t see anything meaningful over the next quarter or maybe even the next several quarters.
“A few years ago, we put incremental investment into an advanced research group here and we’re going to be launching some product in the very near future that came out of at least a portion of that type of investment. Golf ball is an increasingly important category for Callaway, and we’re really proud of our team and what they’ve done there and what we’re delivering. And I look at the changes of what’s going on in the marketplace right now, and it’s creating an opportunity; while others are pulling back, we have the strength and commitment and focus to reinvest.’’
Brewer said the Ishii “investment’’ will be “additive’’ to an existing strong team.
“I think he is a uniquely strong talent and we’re hopeful that at some point in the future we’ll deliver more products like Chrome Soft that are uniquely differentiated and resonate.’’
Toulon, Brewer added, is a “unique talent’’ in the industry, who will strengthen Callaway’s management team.
“He will add guidance to the putter business,’’ Brewer said. “Toulon Design will provide the potential to grow the premium putter category. So, we’re excited about these types of initiatives we are able to find. And although there won’t be any near-term impact, we do think they are going to create long-term value for us.’’
Callaway Golf reported 3Q sales at $188 million vs $176 the same period a year ago. The company reported a 3Q loss of $5.9 million vs. $3.1 million the same quarter in 2015.
For the nine months, Callaway reported sales of $707M vs $690M the same period in 2015. 3Q earnings were $66M vs. $45M the same a year ago. That nine-months 2016 figure is aided by $18M the company earned from Topgolf stock sale.