Hibbett Posts Mixed Quarterly Earnings and Sales but Still Touts ‘Record’ Year

Hibbett Sports Inc. delivered mixed fourth-quarter earnings and sales, but it still touted a “record” year as it saw big gains in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar channels.

For the three months ended Jan. 30, the Birmingham, Ala.-based company posted adjusted profits of $24.1 million, or earnings of $1.40 per share, versus the prior year period’s profits of $9 million, or earnings of 51 cents per share. The results topped Wall Street’s predictions of $1.37 in earnings per share. Revenues, on the other hand, increased 20.4% to $376.8 million but fell short of analysts’ expectations of $378.4 million.

However, overall same-store sales rose 21.9%, with brick-and-mortar comps climbing 17.7% and e-commerce jumping 44.8%. (Digital represented 17.1% of total net sales for the fourth quarter, compared with 14.2% last year.) The retailer attributed the growth to factors such as “improved” customer retention and the federal stimulus payments doled out in the final weeks of its quarter.

In a statement, president and CEO Mike Longo said that the “strong momentum” in the second and third quarters had continued through the fourth quarter.

“Our ongoing ability to deliver a compelling assortment of merchandise through superior customer service and a best-in-class omnichannel platform generated outstanding fourth-quarter performance in both sales and profitability and provided a strong conclusion to a record-setting fiscal 2021,” he added. “The resilience of our team members, our customers and our business model contributed to transaction growth and a higher average ticket both in-store and online during the fourth quarter.”

For the full year, Hibbett saw profits of $104.3 million, or earnings of $6.12 per share, versus the prior year’s profits of $41.9 million, or earnings of $2.33 per share. Revenues grew 19.9% to $1.42 billion, and same-store sales advanced 22.2%, with brick and mortar up 13.3% and e-commerce comparable sales spiking 89.3%.

At the end of January, the chain had $209.3 million of cash and equivalents on its balance sheet, with no outstanding debt and full availability under its $75 million secured credit facility.

Hibbett also provided a limited outlook for the 2022 fiscal year: It forecasted comps to range from negative low-single digits to positive low-single digits, as well as predicted diluted earnings per share in the range of $5.00 to $5.50. It also shared plans to invest $45 million to $50 million of capital on “attractive organic growth opportunities that we believe will lead to higher sales and on various infrastructure projects that will enhance our distribution and back office efficiency.”

“Following a record year, we believe the Hibbett and City Gear brands are positioned very well in the industry, and the momentum we have created in fiscal 2021 is sustainable,” said Longo. “We will remain focused on providing attractive and differentiated customer experiences in stores and online.”

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