Hibbett Sports Joins Growing List of Retailers Forgoing Guidance Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

Hibbett Sports Inc. has joined an expanding roster of publicly traded companies that have either withdrawn or opted against providing full-year guidance amid uncertainties stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the Birmingham, Ala.-based retailer reported a mixed fourth quarter and announced it would not issue an outlook for fiscal year 2021 due to the unknown impact of the outbreak on its business. It added that it expects to release its guidance in May, when it’s scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings results.

“The coronavirus has injected a measure of uncertainty in the market. Like all retailers, we are monitoring the situation and taking the necessary steps to safeguard our customers, our employees and our stockholders,” said President and CEO Mike Longo. “Currently, we do not anticipate any material disruption to our supply chain during the first quarter.”

Although the retailer has “experienced a slowdown in demand” this week, the executive chief added that he believes Hibbett has “ample” liquidity and financial flexibility to navigate the potential impact of the coronavirus on its business.

During the fourth quarter, Hibbett logged adjusted earnings per share of 51 cents on profits that dropped 14.3% to $9 million, compared to analysts’ expectations of 62 cents per share. Revenues for the period ended Feb. 1 grew 2.3% to $313 million, versus market watchers’ anticipated $303.6 million.

Further, comps increased 4%, with particularly strong results in footwear and connected apparel. The first quarter included revenues from City Gear, which Hibbett snapped up in October 2018 for $88 million in cash. According to the company, sales improvements were driven by a 37% gain in online sales; in Q4,e-commerce sales had accounted for 14.2% of total revenues.

In the year to date, shares for Hibbett have fallen 63%, as the market continues its plunge amid coronavirus fears. As of 11 a.m. ET, the retailer’s stock was up nearly 5% to $10.20.

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