How did Burton ski board become the first to be sold for profit?
The company is now worth about $US4 billion, but its rise has come at a price.
Its stock has plummeted from a peak of about $1.30 in 2009 to $1 in October 2016, as it has struggled to stay afloat.
It is now trading at $1 a share.
Burton’s stock is down by more than $50 since its peak, but it still has about 40 per cent of the market.
It has also been forced to rely on a combination of debt and dividends, meaning it is far from profitable.
“I think Burton is probably one of the best companies in the world,” says Jason McBride, a partner at law firm RJR Nabisco.
“Its a really interesting story and it’s hard to ignore.”
Mr McBride points to Burton’s successful fundraising drive.
The company has raised about $3 billion ($3.5 billion) from investors, including Warren Buffett, who helped raise the price of its shares to $US8 a share in 2015.
Burton’s stock has risen by more of a quarter since then, and it has risen even further in the last year.
In January, Burton had to shut down its main ski facility in Victoria, due to poor weather.
The company said it needed to close down the facility because of weather in the region.
When it was shut down, Burton said it would need to close more than 400 ski lifts in Victoria to avoid losing money.
Mr Burton says the closures were not the company’s fault, but the way it had responded to the problems has led to a backlash.
He says the company has also faced a lot of pressure to change its business model, which includes offering refunds to customers who want to cancel a ski ticket.
Many skiers and snowboarders have been calling for a boycott of Burton, saying it has not been able to survive in a market that is dominated by the likes of the likes the world’s biggest brands, Nike and Disney.
They have called for a change in its corporate structure.
Some have also complained that the company failed to deliver on its promise of offering refunds in a timely manner.
Critics also claim that Burton has been unfairly targeted by regulators in Australia, which is one of its biggest markets.
For a company that has been operating in Australia for more than 70 years, Burton’s financial troubles are surprising, says Craig Evans, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Western Australia.
It’s a pretty remarkable story, he says.
What we have seen over the last two years is a very, very significant deterioration in Burton’s finances, and that has taken a lot out of Burton’s brand and brand reputation, Mr Evans says.
“It’s been pretty hard for Burton to get to a place where they’re not going to be subject to any kind of public scrutiny.
But they’re certainly subject to the same kinds of restrictions that most Australian companies are subject to.”
Burnt snowfall and snowfall over the past three years have been bad enough, says David McCallum, a lecturer in marketing at Monash University.
As well as being under the microscope, Burton is now facing other regulatory scrutiny as well.
Australia’s Fair Trading Authority has fined Burton for misleading its customers and misleading them on its refunds policy.
A decision on the FTA’s decision will be made in early 2019, and Burton has until the end of the year to appeal the ruling.