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April 25, 2024

Escalade Reports First Quarter 2024 Results

EVANSVILLE, Ind., April 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Escalade, Inc. (NASDAQ: ESCA, or the "Company"), a leading manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods and indoor/outdoor recreational equipment, today announced results for the first quarter 2024.

(As compared to the first quarter 2023)

  • Net sales were $57.3 million, an increase of 0.7%
  • Operating income was $3.1 million compared to $0.1 million in 2023
  • EBITDA totaled $4.4 million, an increase of $2.8 million
  • Net income of $1.8 million, or $0.13 earnings per diluted share

For the three months ended March 31, 2024, Escalade posted net sales of $57.3 million, net income of $1.8 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.13.

Total net sales increased 0.7% on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter, primarily due to a return in normalized seasonal demand for basketball products, outdoor games, and archery.

Escalade reported first quarter gross margin of 25.0%, an increase of 560 basis points versus the prior-year period, primarily driven by more favorable product mix, decreased inventory storage and handling costs, and more favorable fixed cost absorption.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA") increased $2.8 million to $4.4 million in the first quarter 2024, versus $1.6 million in the prior-year period.

Net income for the first quarter of 2024 was $1.8 million, or $0.13 diluted earnings per share, compared to a net loss of $1.0 million, or $0.07 diluted loss per share, for the same quarter in 2023.

Total debt at the end of the quarter was $53.5 million, down from $95.2 million at the end of the first quarter last year, and up from $50.9 million at year-end. The increase from year-end was primarily the result of inventory investments made in advance of the spring selling season.

As of March 31, 2024, the Company had total cash and equivalents of $0.3 million, together with $62.4 million of availability on its senior secured revolving credit facility maturing in 2027. At the end of the first quarter 2024, net debt (total debt less cash) was 2.0x trailing twelve-month EBITDA.

Escalade announced a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share to be paid to all shareholders of record on July 8, 2024 and payable on July 15, 2024.


"Our first quarter results reflect demand stabilization along with significant improvement in gross margin. We are returning to more normalized market conditions as we move further from the pandemic driven peak in demand and elevated costs," stated Walter P. Glazer, Jr., President and CEO of Escalade. "We still have work to do, but we anticipate continued opportunity for margin improvement in 2024 despite our cautious outlook on consumer demand for discretionary recreational goods for the remainder of the year."

"In recent quarters, we sold through much of our higher cost inventory that had impacted margins in 2023," continued Glazer. "In the first quarter 2024, we delivered a gross margin of 25.0%, an increase of more than 560 basis points above the prior year period. Looking ahead, we remain focused on managing our costs, driving innovation, and developing compelling products that encourage consumers to purchase our wide range of Escalade offerings that promote healthy active lifestyles and bring families and friends together."

"During the first quarter, we experienced increased demand for our basketball, table tennis, archery and outdoor games products," continued Glazer. "Our retail partners successfully reduced their inventory levels coming into 2024, so we believe most channel inventories of our products are relatively light. We saw continued growth in our owned direct-to-consumer website sales, which increased 28% in the first quarter, as we continue to support effective marketing campaigns and new product development."

"As we right size our asset base, including the planned divestiture of our Mexico operations, we expect to drive additional efficiencies in our fixed costs," continued Glazer. "We remain highly focused on optimizing our assets base and cost structure to further improve our return on assets." 

"We ended the first quarter with a ratio of net debt to trailing twelve-month EBITDA of 2.0x, well within our targeted range of 1.5x to 2.5x," stated Glazer. "Looking to the remainder of 2024, we intend to continue deploying available cash flow to debt repayment, which should result in additional interest expense savings, while continuing to invest in our brands and new product development within our strong recreational products portfolio."


A conference call will be held Thursday, April 25, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. ET to review the Company's financial results, discuss recent events and conduct a question-and-answer session.

A webcast of the conference call and accompanying presentation materials will be available in the Investor Relations section of Escalade's website at www.escaladeinc.com. To listen to a live broadcast, go to the site at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time in order to register, download, and install any necessary audio software.

To participate in the live teleconference:

Domestic Live:


International Live:


To listen to a replay of the teleconference, which subsequently will be available through May 9, 2024:

Domestic Replay:


International Replay:


Conference ID:



In addition to disclosing financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), this release contains the non-GAAP financial measure known as "EBITDA." A reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure is contained at the end of this press release. EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that Escalade uses to facilitate comparisons of operating performance across periods. Escalade believes the disclosure of EBITDA provides useful information to investors regarding its financial condition and results of operations. Non-GAAP measures should be viewed as a supplement to and not a substitute for the Company's U.S. GAAP measures of performance and the financial results calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP and reconciliations from these results should be carefully evaluated. Non-GAAP measures have limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or in lieu of an analysis of the Company's results as reported under U.S. GAAP and should be evaluated only on a supplementary basis.

*For full report download PDF