Improved Margin Buoys Hibbett Q3

Hibbett Sports Inc.’s third-quarter income surged 20 percent on higher revenue and improved gross margins.
For the period ended Oct. 27, net income at the Birmingham, Ala.-based sporting goods retailer was $19 million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $16 million, or 59 cents, in the same period a week ago.

Revenue increased 9.6 percent to $202.9 million. Comparable-store sales increased 6.4 percent.

The leverage of store occupancy costs led to a 60 basis point improvement in both gross profit margin and expenses.

Hibbett increased its earnings guidance for fiscal 2013. EPS is now expected to come in $2.66 and $2.71. Comparable-store sales are expected to rise in the mid-single digits.

The firm ended the quarter with $75.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, and no debt.