Dick’s Sporting Goods Sales Take a Tumble Ahead of the Holidays

Dick’s Sporting Goods today reported a mixed finish to the third quarter with sales missing forecasts but profits shaping up better than expected.

The sporting goods seller also lifted its outlook for the remainder of the year, citing early rewards from its increased focus on profitability.

As it heads into the much-anticipated holiday period, Dick’s said its Q3 sales fell 4.5 percent to $1.86 billion, slightly missing the $1.89 billion analysts had expected.

Comparable sales also missed the mark, tumbling 6 percent during the quarter.

Earnings, meanwhile, edged up 2 percent year over year to $37.8 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, significantly surpassing the 26 cents market watchers predicted.

“We are pleased to deliver another quarter of strong earnings. Our continued improvements in gross margin and disciplined expense management more than offset our strategic investments, and contributed to increased profitability compared to last year,” said chairman and CEO Edward Stack. “Comparable sales were within our range of expectations, including continued headwinds in the hunt and electronics categories.”

Despite the sales miss, Stack said that since the firm’s “efforts have been focused on driving profitable sales and managing our business to deliver higher earnings,” management was able to raise fiscal 2018 earnings guidance for a third consecutive quarter.

The company now anticipates reporting earnings per diluted share in the range of $3.15 to $3.25, compared with the $3.01 it reported in last year’s comparable period and the range of $3.02 to $3.20 it previously predicted.

“We remain focused on improving our core execution, delivering stronger merchandise assortments and presentations, and increasing our productivity,” said President Lauren Hobart. “We are confident that the continued execution of these strategies will lead to stronger results and drive competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

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