October 30, 2008 / 9:01 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Callaway swings to quarterly loss, backs '08 view

* Callaway share loss 8 cents, beats Wall Street view

* Net sales fall to $213.5 million from $235 million

* Backs full-year forecasts

LOS ANGELES, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Callaway Golf Co (ELY.N) (ELY.N), maker of the Big Bertha line of clubs, said on Thursday it swung to a quarterly loss as it booked charges and its U.S. and international businesses softened.

The company also backed its 2008 forecasts, citing a positive response to its 2009 product line.

Callaway reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 million, or 12 cents per share, compared with its year-earlier net profit of $1.3 million, or 2 cents per share.

Earlier this month, the company warned that full-year profit would be lower than expected due to softening of its U.S. and international businesses.

Excluding the impact of gross margin improvement charges, the company’s loss before items was 8 cents per share, a penny better than analysts’ average estimate of a loss of 9 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales were $213.5 million, down from $235 million a year earlier.

“The initial feedback on our new 2009 products has been very positive, and we feel the whole product line is stronger than our record 2007 line,” George Fellows, Callaway’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

The company, based in Carlsbad, California, backed its previous forecast calling for 2008 net sales in the range of $1.125 billion to $1.145 billion and pro forma earnings in the range of 92 cents to $1.02 per share. Pro forma earnings exclude after-tax charges related to the gross margin improvement initiatives in the amount of about 11 cents per share.

Callaway shares closed up 52 cents at $10.53 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein)

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