The third quarter is Golf Galaxy's lowest volumeperiod due tothe seasonality of the game. During thequarter, the golf specialtyretailer saw its net salesincrease 56.7% to $31.8 million, comparedwith $20.3million for the same period of the prior year.Comparablestore sales increased 6.7% for the quarteron top of a 9.9% increasefor the third quarter lastyear.

The chain, which operates 49 stores in 23 states,reported a netloss for the third quarter of $1.6million, or 15 cents per dilutedshare, compared withits guidance for a net loss of $1.8 million to$2.2million. For the same period last year, Golf Galaxyreported netincome of $3.4 million, or 43 cents perdiluted share. The earningsincluded a pre-tax gain of$8.4 million realized on the sale of itsequityinvestment in Golf Town Canada Inc. stock. Withoutthatone-time gain, the chain's net loss would havebeen $1.7 million, or16 cents per diluted share.

In addition to the unseasonably warm weather, GolfGalaxy COOGreg Maanum attributed the sales increasesto improvedmerchandising. He said during the chain'searnings conference callthat the categories ofpre-owned clubs, women's golf and serviceswere topperformers, achieving double-digit comp sales.

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