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Big 5 CEO ‘pleased’ with Q2 results

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation saw a slight uptick in customer traffic and same-store sales improvement for each of its major product categories — apparel, footwear and hardgoods — which contributed to a 4.4% same-store sales increase for the second quarter ended June 30 compared to the prior-year period. 

Net sales for the quarter increased to $239.9 million from $226.6 million for the second quarter last year. 

Second-quarter sales benefited from the Easter holiday, during which the company's stores are closed, because it fell in first quarter this year, rather than in the second. This benefit was partially offset by the impact of the calendar shift of the Fourth of July holiday further into the third quarter this year, which resulted in certain holiday-related sales moving from the second quarter to the third quarter.

Gross profit for the quarter increased to $79.7 million from $73.1 million in the same quarter last year. Net income for the quarter improved to $6 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, from net income of $2.6 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, including $0.03 per diluted share of store closing and non-cash impairment charges, for the same quarter last year.

For the 26-week period ended June 30, 2013, net sales increased to $486.2 million from $445.1 million in the comparable period last year. Same-store sales increased 7.4% in the first 26 weeks of fiscal 2013 versus the comparable period last year. Net income improved to $13.6 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, for the first 26 weeks of fiscal 2013, from net income of $2.7 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, including $0.03 of store closing and impairment charges, for the first half of last year.

"We are pleased with our second quarter financial results as we continued to see the underlying performance of our business strengthen," said Steven G. Miller, chairman, president and CEO. "We experienced a slight improvement in customer traffic and a mid-single-digit increase in average sale, and our same store sales improved for each of our major product categories of apparel, footwear and hardgoods. We improved merchandise margins for the quarter and also maintained our cost discipline, which allowed us to continue to leverage expenses, expand operating margins and drive a strong earnings performance. We also reduced per-store inventory levels and used our strong cash flow to invest in our store base, pay our dividend and meaningfully lower our debt versus the prior year."

During the quarter, the company opened two new stores, one of which was a relocation of an existing store, ending the quarter with 416 stores in operation. During the fiscal 2013 third quarter, the company anticipates opening four new stores and closing one store as part of a relocation. For the fiscal 2013 full year, the company anticipates opening approximately 15 net new stores.

Big 5 is a leading sporting goods retailer in the western United States, operating 416 stores in 12 states under the "Big 5 Sporting Goods" name.

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