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Dick’s Sporting Goods Just Made Another Big Gun Move — Why Wall Street Likes It

Dick’s Sporting Goods is ramping up its retreat from gun sales.

The Pittsburgh-based chain announced today it will remove weapons and other hunting products from another 440 stores across the country this year, building on its initial efforts following the deadly 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Guns were pulled from 125 other locations last March, following the company’s ban on assault-style weapons in 2018.

Wall Street appeared happy with the news: Shares of Dick’s stock spiked more than 12% in premarket trading on the announcement, which occurred as the company reported better-than-anticipated fourth-quarter sales and earnings. Adjusted earnings for the quarter hit $1.32 a share, beating analysts’ calls for $1.22 a share. Sales ticked up 4.7% to roughly $2.61 billion, ahead of forecasts of $2.56 billion. Comp sales, meanwhile, increased 5.3%, above analysts’ estimates for a 3% increase. E-commerce sales soared a robust 15%.

“We are very pleased with our strong fourth-quarter results. Despite the compressed holiday selling season and the challenging conditions we faced with unseasonably warm weather, we delivered a 5.3% comp sales increase, supported by increases in both average ticket and transactions, as well as growth across each of our three primary categories of hardlines, apparel and footwear,” Edward Stack, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “During 2019, we made meaningful changes across our business, which fueled our strongest annual comp sales gain since 2012 and a 14% increase in non-GAAP earnings per diluted share over 2018.”

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Stack said that the company remains bullish on its outlook for 2020 but that it is moving forward with “a degree of caution over the coronavirus and how it may impact our business.”

Looking to the full year, Dick’s is now forecasting earnings per share to range between $3.60 and $4. It expects same-store sales to range from flat to 2%. Amid the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, the company noted that the lower end of its full-year outlook “includes some caution related to supply chain disruption potentially impacting its results beginning in the second quarter.”

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