Big 5 Q3 Down

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. exceeded expectations in the third quarter even as profit slipped.

For the period ended Oct. 2, the El Segundo, Calif.-based retailer earned a net income of $5.8 million, or 27 cents a share, down from $6.8 million, or 31 cents, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue advanced 1 percent to $234.7 million, from $231.8 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $232.2 million, as polled by Yahoo Finance.

Same store sales for the quarter were flat, reflecting continued weakness in the consumer environment and a decrease in customer traffic, the firm said.

The company’s gross profit margin also slid 60 basis points to 32.8 percent, impacted by promotional activities and product cost inflation.

“After a soft start to a quarter that we believe was [impacted by] unfavorable weather conditions in many of our markets, sales trends improved during August and September and we comped up in the low single-digit range over the back half of the quarter,” said Steven Miller, the firm’s chairman, president and CEO in a statement.

“We should note that consumer spending during the upcoming holiday season remains highly unpredictable. We are encouraged by our new merchandise and marketing initiatives and remain focused on identifying opportunities to broaden the reach of both our product and customer base,” he added.

The firm expects fourth quarter EPS to come in between 12 and 24 cents. It ended the quarter with $4.7 million cash and cash equivalents and $69.1 million in debt.

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