Hibbett’s Earnings Surge

Sales growths in footwear, apparel and accessories lifted Hibbett Sports, Inc.’s third quarter income.


Net income for the period ended Oct. 30 jumped 44 percent to $12.6 million, or 44 cents a share, from $8.8 million, or 30 cents, in the previous corresponding quarter.


Net sales at the Birmingham, Al.-based sporting goods retailer increased 15 percent to $167.4 million, from $145.9 million. Comparable store sales increased 12.5 percent.


Rebecca Jones, VP of merchandising, said the firm saw good sales performance across all merchandise categories. In particular, comparable store sales for footwear and cleats were in the high single-digits, with top performing vendors being Nike, Reebok and Asics.


Men’s and women’s footwear were both up in the low double-digits, and “toning continues to add incremental sales to the women’s footwear business,” Jones added.


“New in-store shops from Nike and Under Armour have proven to be valuable additions to our sales. Our investments to technology continue to pay off. We are satisfying more customers with our in-stock position and assortments specific to each store,” said Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO of Hibbett Sports, in a conference call today.


Meanwhile, gross profit also rose 125 basis points, largely due to the leveraging of occupancy and warehouse costs, as well as less promotional activity.


Hibbett opened 17 new stores in the third quarter, and expects to open at least 40 new stores in fiscal 2011.


The company ended the quarter with $52.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, up significantly from $24.8 million the same time a year ago, and has no bank debt.


Hibbett also expects earnings per share of $1.63 to $1.66 for the full year.

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