Despite Supply Chain Challenges, Hibbett Posts Blowout Earnings and Raises Outlook

Hibbett Sports Inc. recorded blowout profits and sales in the first quarter, leading it to raise its outlook for the fiscal year despite ongoing supply chain challenges and pandemic-related uncertainties.

For the three months ended May 1, the Birmingham, Ala.-based company posted an income of $84.8 million, or earnings of $5.00 per share, compared with the prior year’s income of $5.2 million, or earnings of 31 cents per share. The figure trounced Wall Street’s predictions of earnings of $2.77 per share. Revenues increased 87.8% to $506.9 million, compared with consensus bets of $412.92 million.

“Our fiscal 2022 is off to an excellent start as our business continues to build on the strong momentum we experienced last year,” president and CEO Mike Longo said in a statement. “Record quarterly sales and earnings were a result of our continued commitment to offering a compelling assortment of merchandise combined with our trademark superior customer service and a best-in-class omnichannel platform.”

According to the retailer, new customer retention and improved store-level engagement coupled with federal fiscal stimulus helped contribute to an 87.3% gain in comps. Although e-commerce was relatively flat compared to the last year, growing by just 1%, it represented 11.7% of total net sales, while online revenues advanced by more than 105%. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar comps surged a whopping 113.5% from the year-ago quarter, when Hibbett’s outposts were open to the public for approximately 60% of the period.

Longo lamented constraints in its supply chain, which has encountered disruptions stemming from ongoing congestion at the ports, limiting its ability to build inventory during the quarter. Still, the chain offered a positive outlook for the fiscal year ahead: It predicted comps in the range from positive high single digits to positive low double digits — up from the previous guidance of negative low single digits to positive low single digits. It also forecasted earnings per share in the range of $8.50 to $9.00.

What’s more, management reiterated its plan this year to invest $45 million to $50 million of capital on “attractive organic growth opportunities” that it suggested would contribute to higher sales, as well as on infrastructure projects to enhance its distribution and offices.

Hibbett ended the quarter with $270.9 million in cash and equivalents, with no debt outstanding and full availability under its $75 million secured credit facility.

“The impressive results we have experienced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic reflect our team members’ diligence and dedication toward providing an exceptional customer experience by executing our toe-to-head merchandising strategy successfully,” Longo said. “We will continue to make investments in our store base and in technology across our omnichannel platform to further enhance our customer experience as well as improve internal business processes.”

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