In an interview with Benzinga, Callaway Golf Co. CFO Robert Julian says the “idea that golf is dead or dying, I believe, is way overplayed.’’
I’ll give him that, but Julian also says that Callaway has done “nice job of growing the business.’’
Strictly by the numbers, Julian is correct, but Callaway’s core metal woods business continues to struggle. For example, the company’s metal woods sales the first nine months of this year were down 26 percent in Q3 versus Q3 of 2015 and eight percent the first nine months of this year compared the same period a year ago. Metal woods sales in 2015 fell 15 percent versus 2014.
The fourth quarter generally is the weakest in terms of sales of most golf equipment companies, including Callaway, meaning that it’s likely Callaway’s Q4 metal sales will be red. That’s two consecutive years the company’s core business has failed to grow. So how much can Callaway really be growing?