Hibbett Q1 Up On Strong Comps

Hibbett Sports Inc. saw a strong surge in first-quarter profit.

For the period ended April 30, the Birmingham, Ala.-based sporting goods retailer earned a net income of $21.3 million, or 76 cents a share, up 23 percent from $17.3 million, or 59 cents, from a year earlier.

Net sales for the period advanced 10 percent to $203.7 million, from $184.5 million, on the back of a 6.8 percent increase in comparable-store sales, which were in turn led by gains in activewear and footwear.

“[We saw] cleaner inventories, improved merchandise assortment execution and continued benefits from our investments in systems,” said Jeff Rosenthal, the firm’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“We feel good about the strong start to the second quarter as well as our expectations for fiscal 2012 based on our merchandising strategies, solid inventory position and new store sales productivity,” he added.

Hibbett ended the first quarter with $85.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and no bank debt.

The firm also increased its earnings guidance for fiscal 2012 to a range of $1.80 to $1.95 per share and an increase in comparable-store sales in the low to mid single digit range.