OAKLEY NET OFF 60.6% IN PERIOD

NEW YORK — Reeling from order cancellations by Sunglass Hut, eyewear maker Oakley Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings plunged 60.6 percent to $3.6 million, or 5 cents a share, from $9.2 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier.
Sales in the three months ended Dec. 31 slumped 8.5 percent to $39.3 million from $43 million.
Mike Parnell, Oakley’s chief executive officer, said poor results in the quarter largely reflect declining sales and order cancellations at Sunglass Hut, Oakley’s largest customer, as well as poor holiday business for Oakley’s products at retail.
Parnell said he expects “some residual impact” from these developments in the first and second quarters of 1997 but “we are working closely with Sunglass Hut management to insure that, going forward, appropriate inventory levels are maintained and optimal sell-through rates are achieved.”
Oakley’s inventories as of Dec. 31 were up 44.2 percent to $29.6 million from $20.5 million a year earlier.
For the year, earnings were up 16.1 percent to $46 million, or 64 cents a share, from an adjusted $39.6 million, or 59 cents. Sales gained 26.5 percent to 218.6 million from $172.8 million.
Oakley raised $75.9 million in an initial public offering in August 1995 and year-ago figures were adjusted to make them comparable with the new capitalization. Per share figures reflect a 2-for-1 stock split in October 1996.

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