Insurance Journal  Mar 13  Comment 
A federal judge awarded Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Sportswear $3.3 million in its lawsuit against a company that allegedly supplied faulty components for Columbia’s electrically heated jackets. The Oregonian reported that Magistrate Judge...
Forbes  Feb 27  Comment 
Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, on 3/3/15, Columbia Sportswear Co. (NASD: COLM), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc (NYSE: HOT), and MDC Partners Inc (NASD: MDCA) will all trade ex-dividend for their respective...
Cloud Computing  Feb 24  Comment 
We explore how retailer Columbia Sportswear has made great strides in improving their business results through modernized IT, and where they expect to go next with their software-defined strategy. To learn more about the new wave of IT, we sat...
Motley Fool  Feb 13  Comment 
Here's what investors need to know about Columbia's blowout quarter.
TheStreet.com  Feb 13  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Columbia Sportswear shares are climbing on heavy volume trading, up 17.64% to $51.28 on Friday, following the release of the apparel company's fourth quarter earnings results after the closing bell yesterday.  The...
Benzinga  Feb 13  Comment 
Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ: COLM) shares climbed 15.85% to $50.50. The volume of Columbia Sportswear shares traded was 1320% higher than normal. Columbia Sportswear reported upbeat Q4 earnings and issued a strong FY15 earnings...
Benzinga  Feb 13  Comment 
Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG) shares gained 2.41% to reach a new 52-week high of $21.67 after the company reported upbeat quarterly sales and lifted its quarterly dividend by 26%. However, the company reported...
Benzinga  Feb 13  Comment 
In a report published Friday, D.A. Davidson analyst Andrew Burns reiterated a Buy rating on Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ: COLM), and raised the price target from $53.00 to $55.00. In the report, D.A. Davidson noted, "COLM reported revenue...


Colombia Sportswear Company (NYSE: COLM) is one of the largest wholesalers of outdoor sportswear and equipment in the U.S. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Columbia sells clothing and equipment for a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting, fishing, hiking, and snowboarding. Its products are sold mostly in sports and specialty stores, in addition to mid-tier department stores and online. The company earned $1.2 billion in revenue and $67 million in net income in 2009.[1]

Columbia relies on department stores for a large portion of its sales. But, as department stores and other specialty stores continue to focus their efforts on increasing their own private label offerings, Columbia may find its efforts grow through increased department store sales frustrated. In addition, Columbia faces risks from a struggling global economy as consumers cut back on spending on new sports-related goods.

Company Overview

Columbia Sportswear’s business segments have on the whole remained stable as percentages of net sales. The core of Columbia’s sales comes from its sportswear and outerwear business. Colombia’s coats, vests, and parkas are popular among active, outdoors-oriented consumers. Its sportswear lines complement the company’s outdoor ethos with hunting, hiking, and fishing gear.


  • Sportswear (38% of net sales) - sportswear products incorporate various fabrication and construction technologies that protect consumers from the outdoor elements and enable consumers to enjoy the outdoors longer and in greater comfort year round. Sportswear products are designed to be worn as a layering system with our outerwear and footwear products during fall and winter outdoor activities, or individually during milder weather commonly encountered during spring and summer outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, fishing, golfing, adventure travel and water sports. Mountain Hardwear-branded sportswear consists primarily of performance apparel designed for mountaineering, backpacking, rock climbing and adventure sports.
  • Outerwear (38.8% of net sales) - outerwear is designed to protect the wearer from the harsher inclement weather commonly encountered in fall and winter outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, hunting, fishing and adventure travel.
  • Footwear (17.2% of net sales) - footwear products include durable, lightweight hiking and trekking boots, trail running shoes, rugged cold weather boots for activities on snow and ice, sandals for use in amphibious activities, and casual shoes for everyday use.
  • Accessories and Equipment (6% of net sales) - includes bags, packs, headwear, scarves and gloves.

Business Growth

FY 2009 (ended December 31, 2009)[1]

  • Net sales 5.6% to $1.2 billion. Sales in all of the company's product categories fell due to lower volume as a result of the weak global economy.
  • Net income fell 29% to $67 million.

Trends and Forces

Economic Conditions

Recent trouble in the credit markets, coupled with high gasoline prices, have the potential to depress consumer spending, thereby impacting Columbia’s bottom line. Such factors may lead consumers scale back on camping vacations and other nature-oriented trips, rendering Columbia's equipment, outdoorswear, and sportswear businesses particularly vulnerable to such a downturn.

However, Columbia’s lower price point (relative to its competitors) may support earnings in times of economic downturn: the price range for a Columbia jacket is around $100-$250[3], while a typical North Face jacket can set consumers back $250- $500[4]. Shoppers may seek out lower-cost outdoor apparel during a softening economy, potentially attracting competitors’ customers to Columbia’s brands.

COLM seeks to grow through higher department store sales

Department stores in the United States have undergone significant changes in recent years. As Columbia seeks future growth through increased department store sales, the company will have to contend with these changes in the future. In response to declining margins, stores have implemented tighter inventory controls and have scaled back the quantities of merchandise that they purchase from wholesalers like Columbia. As a means of increasing market share, companies have also sought to differentiate themselves from the competition by demanding exclusive contracts and store-specific private labels (e.g. Ralph Lauren's "American Living" line for J.C. Penney). Columbia itself has admitted that some of its strongest competition comes from its own clients private label merchandise, as they have a strong incentive to prefer private labels wherever possible because they can be sold at higher margins than outside brands.

In addition, Columbia must deal with the widespread consolidation that is present among department store changes in America. A series of mergers and acquisitions in the industry (e.g. Federated Department Stores' takeover of Marshall Field's) give the businesses that remain potentially greater power to negotiate lower prices with Columbia, thereby lowering profits.


Columbia Sportswear competes with several similarly outdoor-oriented brands, like The North Face, Timberland, and Patagonia. In addition, the company argues that often its biggest competition comes from its own clients’ private label merchandise, as big department stores like Kohl's, The Sports Authority, and J.C. Penney have better marketing, distribution, and financial resources than Columbia


  1. 1.0 1.1 COLM 2009 10-K "Selected Financial Data" pg. 24
  2. COLM 2009 10-K "Products" pg. 3-4
  3. Sportsauthority.com
  4. Thenorthface.com
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