Billabong Reduces Guidance Due to Japanese Disaster.

Billabong announced yesterday that its Net Profit after Taxes in constant currency would be lower this fiscal year than last year by 2% to 6% due to the problems in Japan. Previously, as announced on February 18, they had expected it to be flat. The announcement describes their position in Japan and the disaster’s impact on it. Happily, none of their employees were seriously hurt.

I expect we’ll see similar announcements from other companies, and I think Billabong gets credit for stepping up and announcing it quickly even though the precise impact is somewhere between difficult and impossible to estimate right now. There is no company or person with any experience in dealing with 8.9 level earthquakes, tsunamis, and possible radiation releases all at the same time.

Obviously, earning less money rather than more money isn’t generally a good thing.  But this has no impact on Billabong’s longer term market positioning or the validity of its strategy except to the extent that events in Japan impact the global economy. That’s a potential problem for all of us.