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E-commerce costs, firearms hit Big 5 in Q1; 12-15 new stores on tap


El Segundo, Calif. – Big 5 Sporting Goods experienced a 72% drop in net income during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, to $2.1 million from $7.5 million in the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. Expenses associated with the retailer’s new e-commerce platform affected its net income.

Big 5 expects to open a net of 12-15 new stores during fiscal 2014, including two in the second quarter. Meanwhile, net sales declined 6% to $231.3 million from $246.3 million and same-store sales shrank 7.9%. Big 5 cited declining sales in firearms and ammunition, as well as unusually mild winter weather in Western states, as hurting sales during the quarter.

For the fiscal 2014 second quarter, the company expects same store sales comparisons in the low negative to low positive single-digit range and earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.12 to $0.20. This guidance reflects the continued softness in demand for firearms, ammunition and related products and the negative effect of the calendar shift of the Easter holiday, during which Big 5 stores are closed, out of the first quarter and into the second quarter this year.

"As expected, our first quarter results declined when compared to a very strong performance during the prior year, due largely to substantially reduced demand for firearms and ammunition products and soft sales of winter products resulting from warm and dry conditions in most of our western markets throughout the winter season," said Steven G. Miller, chairman, president and CEO. "We were encouraged by the strength of our non-firearm and non-winter-related product categories during the quarter. We feel well positioned from a merchandise and promotional perspective for the key selling period during the quarter, which includes Memorial Day, Father's Day and the start of the summer season."

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