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Hibbett Sports on track for 1,000 stores


Hibbett Sports reported relatively flat third quarter same store sales, but the company achieved record new expansion and is prepared to surpass 1,000 units in 2015.

For the third quarter, Hibbett posted profits of $16.9 million, down from $17.3 million in the prior-year quarter. The decline was mainly due to markdowns related to slow selling and aged inventory, the company said.

Sales for the third quarter grew 5% to $218 million from $207 million last year, but came in below analysts' estimate of $222 million. Same store sales were up slightly at 0.6%. Meanwhile, Hibbett’s earnings per share edged up to 67 cents from 66 cents per share in the third quarter of 2013.

“We have seen an improved sales trend in early November with the onset of colder weather in many of our markets. Our new store growth continues to be robust, with the opening of a record 26 stores in the third quarter,” CEO Jeff Rosenthal said. He added that the retailer is on track to achieve its goal of 75 to 80 new stores this year and is pleased with same-store sales growth.

Hibbett, which typically focuses on smaller markets in the South, Southwest, mid-Atlantic and Midwest, struggled earlier this year after weaker traffic and increased markdowns dented margins, even as the company continues to expand.

At the end of the third quarter, Hibbett’s store base was 969 stores in 31 states.

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