Thursday, July 28, 2005


Sport Chalet, Inc. operates specialty sporting goods superstores in Southern California and Nevada. The Company sells traditional sporting goods merchandise like footwear, apparel and other general athletic products and nontraditional merchandise like downhill skiing, mountaineering and SCUBA products. In addition, Sport Chalet also offers value-added services from “The Experts” enabling their serious sports enthusiast customers to take lessons, giving them a complete experience from getting advice to receiving training in their sport. In addition, they operate a retail e-commerce store at

Their legacy started on April 1, 1959, when a young man named Norbert Olberz heard about a little ski shop for sale. It was located north of Los Angeles. In 1981, Norbert doubled the size of his Company by opening a store in Huntington Beach and began to build a loyal following of beach customers.

In 1992, Sport Chalet went public, trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market under (SPCH). In 2001, Sport Chalet expanded beyond Southern California for the first time, entering Nevada. In 2003, Sport Chalet opened stores in Northern California. Today they have 36 stores and are continuing to expand.

In June 1998, six years after gong public, the founder of Sport Chalet, Norbert Olberz gave nearly 300,000 of his own Sport Chalet shares to all employees who had been with the company for more than 10 years and managers with more than one year of company loyalty in celebration of its most profitable year in sales and gross profits.

Trading on July 28th @ $17.05. 48% higher than their 52-wk low (11/3/2004): $11.51. Their 52-wk high (6/29/2005):$19.50

Their goals for 2005 are to leverage the investments they have made to intelligently grow. This year they expand into Northern California with three new stores. Their first Central California store will open and they will add another Southern California location. These five new store openings will set a record for new store growth.

Remodeling older stores will give them 44% of their store base being three years old or less. Their employees have been challenged to work more closely together than ever before to improve their logistics processes, bringing in merchandise to market even faster yet at a lower cost and making sure every item is received in their stores in "floor-ready" condition.

Are they on the right financial track? On June 28, 2005 Sport Chalet, Inc. announced the results for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2005. Sales increased 17.0%, from $264.2 million last year to $309.1 million this year. The increase was the result of opening five new stores this year and three last year, as well as a same store sales increase of 5.7%.

The same store sales increase is due to better inventory assortments compared to the same period last year and increased customer traffic from the appeal of winter related merchandise. Sales of winter related merchandise were driven by record winter weather conditions at the resorts frequented by their customers. Same store sales excluding winter related products increased 4.7%.

Gross profit margin increased from 30.3% last year to 30.9% this year primarily due to a strong winter season, which reduced the need for markdowns as well as reduced costs from more efficient inbound logistics.

Net income increased $1.5 million, or 32.9%, from $4.6 million to $6.2 million this year.

Commenting on the results, Craig Levra, Chairman and CEO said, "Our outstanding results for the fiscal year reflect the consistent and effective execution of our strategic plan. The entire Sport Chalet team contributed to a very successful year during which we made strides in both enhancing our operational performance and implementing our growth plans. As we expand into Arizona in the new fiscal year, we believe we are well positioned for continued strong performance.

“As we announced in a separate release today, the Company’s board of directors has proposed a recapitalization plan that is designed to facilitate the orderly transition of control from Norbert Olberz, the principal stockholder, to the Company’s management and increase financial flexibility for the Company and its stockholders. The proposed recapitalization plan retains current stockholders’ existing voting interests and allows management to maintain our strong culture and continue to focus on our growth strategy. Overall, we are pleased with our results for fiscal 2005 and encouraged about the direction of our business. We remain committed to our strategy to generate long-term top and bottom line growth and increase stockholder value.”

Being debt free for the last seven years, this forty-five year old sports company seems to have a feel for their customers and what they want. Can Sports Chalet successfully have a “changing of the guard”, add new stores and still be a climber in this Bull Market?