Every major golf equipment maker has a vision for their future, and they're working toward it every day.
In recent memory, it's become much clearer how Callaway Golf sees their path forward. They want to have a finger on the pulse of golf, wherever it is consumed. That doesn't just mean a simple distinction between on and off course. It means being an earworm in the golf-obsessed brains of millions of people.
With their third-quarter results annoucement, it's now becoming clear that CEO Chip Brewer's vision for Callaway is manifesting itself in a substantial way and creating a more diverse set of revenue that will guide the company into the future.
For the third quarter, Callaway announced consolidated net revenue of $856 million, marking a $381 million (80 percent) increase, driven by strong sales in the hard and soft goods aspects of the business, as well as continued strength with Topgolf, which the company acquired via a merger announced in October 2020. Even with some higher operating costs and a mild cool-off from the torrid equipment-sales pace of 2020, the net result is EBIDTA for the quarter of $139 million, a 57 percent increase.
“Callaway's third quarter performance highlights the significant growth and profitability embedded in our business, as all segments have recovered more quickly than we anticipated and are delivering results ahead of plan," said Brewer. "Our golf equipment and apparel businesses are benefiting from sustained enthusiasm for the sport of golf and outdoor exploration, while Topgolf's fun, inclusive, social environment is in high demand among customers of all skill levels and ages."
Callaway is also furthering the vision of having a hand in wherever golf is experienced by investing $30 million for a minority stake in Five Iron Golf, a growing, urban indoor golf and entertainment company offering simulator rentals, golf lessons and custom club fittings in a social setting. The investment gives the vibe of the prescience the company had to take an early minority stake in Topgolf, even as Callaway was experiencing one of the weaker periods in their history.
While the payoff and the end of the Five Iron Golf story are anything like that with Topgolf is impossible to yet predict, it's clear the company sees bringing golf into denser spaces as a wise investment.
"This powerful combination of off-course and on-course golf, entertainment, dining and outdoor living is unlike any other company in the market today and is poised for long-term growth as we continue to execute our strategy," Brewer said.
"We are committed to driving value for our shareholders and believe our brands are well-positioned to deliver sustainable, long-term growth as we look ahead to 2022 and beyond.”
While Callaway Golf (ticker: ELY) likely will face increasing market expectations for their overall performance -- particularly the growth of Topgolf and paying down its debt profile -- the market has loved what it's seen this year. The stock is up 75 percent in the last year.