* Raises 2008 sales forecast, gives no profit outlook
* Total orders up currency adjusted 4.7 pct as of Sept.
* Shares fall 3.4 pct, underperform German mid-cap index
(Adds CEO, analyst comments and share reaction)
FRANKFURT, Oct 31 World No. 3 sportswear maker
Puma (PUMG.DE) lifted its full-year sales forecast on Friday,
backed by a solid order book, but kept quiet on expected
profits, which disappointed investors and pushed its shares
The stock initially rose as much as 2.7 percent but then
slid up to 4.3 percent after Puma Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz
refrained from giving a profit forecast for the full year.
The stock was down 3.4 percent at 124.45 euros at 1102 GMT,
underperforming a 0.5 percent decline in Germany's mid-cap MDAX
The fact that Puma still did not give a profit outlook this
late in the year was daunting, said an analyst, who asked not to
Puma, owned by French retailer and Gucci owner PPR
PTRP.PA, lifted its 2008 sales guidance to mid- to
high-single-digit growth from single-digit currency-adjusted
growth, due to its performance so far this year and solid order
Total orders stood at 1.16 billion euros as of September, up
4.7 percent currency-adjusted.
"The increase in the sales guidance is rather cosmetic and
does not really change the picture," said Equinet analyst
Ingbert Faust in a note to clients.
CEO Zeitz said Puma managed to grow sales in the third
quarter "despite the very challenging economic situation and
sluggish retail environment".
Consolidated sales rose 9.2 percent, adjusted for exchange
rate fluctuations, to 712.7 million euros ($930.5 million) with
sales in the Americas up 18.7 percent as the U.S. business
While Zeitz saw a positive tendency in the U.S. market, he
said the situation there would continue to be difficult.
Bigger rival Nike (NKE.N), the world's number-one sporting
goods maker, also benefited from robust U.S. sales and orders
growth in its fiscal first quarter, it said in September.
Overall, Zeitz said private consumption would remain subdued
and could even weaken further in the next couple of months.
Shares in Puma, based in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, trades at
about 7 times projected 2009 earnings, slightly below its
crosstown rival Adidas ADSG.DE -- the world number two, and
which is due to report third-quarter results on Nov. 6 -- and
(Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Quentin Bryar)