Hibbett down; poor equipment sales hurt holiday results | VailDaily.com

Hibbett down; poor equipment sales hurt holiday results

NEW YORK – Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc. stock fell Friday after the retailer’s holiday sales came in well below company estimates.Shares of Birmingham, Ala.-based Hibbett fell $2.72, or 8.6 percent, to $28.98 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.For the nine weeks ended Dec. 31, sales at stores open one year rose 1.7 percent, the company said late Thursday. In November, Hibbett predicted quarterly same-store sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent.Total net sales for the holiday period were $90.6 million. For the fourth quarter, ending Jan. 29, analysts were expecting sales of $124.3 million, according to Thomson Financial.The company didn’t alter its fourth-quarter earnings forecast, however, keeping it at 27 cents to 29 cents a share.Analysts have been expecting earnings of 29 cents a share.”Footwear and apparel were positive (for the holiday period) while equipment was negative,” Chief Executive Mickey Newsome said. “We expect sales momentum to continue building in January.”Hibbett also said its gross margins improved during the holiday period because of a clean inventory position, allowing the company to cut down on promotional activity.That likely occurred at the expense of sales, according to BB&T Capital Markets analyst David Turner, who lowered his fourth-quarter earnings estimate by 2 cents to 28 cents a share.Turner, who doesn’t own any shares of Hibbett, maintained a “hold” rating for the stock.Vail, Colorado

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