Hibbett Beats Profit Forecasts But Misses On Sales In Q4

It was a mixed finish to Q4 for sporting-goods retailer Hibbett Sports Inc.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based company said Friday that its net income, for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 30, 2016, was 17.4 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, a 12.6 percent decline from the comparable quarter when net income was $19.9 million, or 79 cents per diluted share. The firm’s diluted earnings per share for the quarter beat analyst estimates for diluted EPS of 73 cents.

Q4 net sales increased 2.7 percent to $245.7 million compared with $239.3 million in the year-ago quarter, but missed Wall Street’s estimates for sales of $246.2 million.

We were very pleased with our holiday sales driven by improved assortments, new items and improved replenishment capability,” president and CEO Jeff Rosenthal said in a release. “Sales softened in January as we experienced significant weather related closures and delays in tax refunds.”

For the full year, net sales increased 3.2 percent to $943.1 million compared with $913.5 million in the previous year. Comparable store sales decreased 0.4 percent.

Full-year net income was $70.5 million, or $2.92 per diluted share, a 4.2 percent decline from the prior year when net income was $73.6 million, or $2.87 per diluted share.

Looking forward, we are confident that our merchandising initiatives will continue to provide benefits as we enter the important spring season,” Rosenthal said. “Additionally, we are very excited with our hiring of a VP of digital commerce who will provide the leadership and guidance necessary to drive our ongoing omnichannel initiative.”

The company provided the following guidance for fiscal 2017: diluted EPS in the range of $2.90 to $3.04; increase in comparable store sales in the low single-digit range; approximately 40 to 50 net new stores; and an estimated incremental reduction of 14 cents to 16 cents per diluted share due to its ongoing omnichannel initiative.

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