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Athletic specialty retailer posts mixed Q4 results


Hibbett Sports posted fourth-quarter sales that missed predictions, even as earnings were in line with forecasts.

Net sales for the 13-week period ended Jan. 28, increased 0.5% to $246.9 million compared with $245.7 million in the year-ago period.

Same-store decreased 2.2%. Apparel and equipment both experienced declines in comparable store sales, while footwear continued to show stronger sales with a mid-single digit increase.

Net income for the period was $12.1 million, compared with $17.4 million for the previous year. Earnings per diluted share was $0.54 for the 13-week period ended January 28, 2017, compared with $0.76 for the 13-week period ended January 30, 2016.

“Results did not meet our expectations for the quarter, although we were pleased with continued strength in our footwear business,” said Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO. “The decline in comparable store sales was driven mainly by softer sales in apparel and equipment. Licensed products accounted for much of the weakness in apparel, while equipment was negatively impacted by weakness in team sports, fitness and accessories.”

Hibbett is slated to start rolling out its “store-to-home capability’ during its first quarter, which will enable the retailer to use our entire chain to locate an item and send it directly to the customer’s home. “We are also on track to launch our e-commerce site in the back half of fiscal 2018, which will be fully integrated with our stores, and will include an enriched customer loyalty program,” said Rosenthal. “Once implemented, we believe these initiatives will provide an outstanding customer experience, and will position us well to drive long-term growth and shareholder value.”

Hibbett’s net sales for full fiscal year increased 3.2% to $973.0 million. Comparable store sales increased 0.2%.

Net income for the year was $61.1 million, compared with $70.5 million for previous year.

For the year, Hibbett opened 65 new stores, expanded eight high-performing stores and closed 31 underperforming stores, bringing the store base to 1,078 in 35 states as of January 28, 2017.

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