As I’ve told you, I’m not so much interested in analyzing the financial statements of big multi-brand corporations like VF (or Nike, or PPR, or Jarden, etc.) but of seeing, to the extent we can, what they are doing in the action sports/youth culture space (or whatever industry we’re in). Mostly I don’t think you want to hear about Footnote F on pension plan contributions but might be interested in any strategic implications or trends I can glean.
To be honest, I do actually want to mention Footnote F briefly. VF noted one of the reasons their operating expenses as a percentage of sales rose was due to an increased pension expense. Companies with pension plans (as opposed to 401Ks) have to fund those plans based on complex actuarial calculations. When returns don’t meet what they project, they have to put more money into the pension plan, and that’s an expense.