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Hibbett Sports bounces back in February

Hibbett Sports experienced a significant slowdown in January due to significant weather-related store closures and a less favorable sales impact this year from the college football championship game. However, sales trends improved in February as weather patterns normalized and the retailer rolled out its spring assortment. Net sales for the 13-week period ended Feb. 1 increased 0.2% to $217.8 million compared with $217.4 million for the 14-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013. Comparable store sales increased 1.7% on a comparable 13-week period. Gross profit was 35.8% of net sales for the quarter, compared with 36.1% for the prior-year quarter. Net income for the quarter was $16.9 million compared with $19.4 million for the prior-year quarter. Earnings per diluted share were $0.64 for the quarter, compared with $0.73 for the last year’s period. Net sales for the 52-week period ended Feb. 1 increased 4.1% to $852 million compared with $818.7 million for the 53-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013. Comparable store sales increased 1.8% on a comparable 52-week to 52-week period. Gross profit was 36.3% of net sales for the full year, compared with 36.5% for the 53-week period last year. Net income for the full year was $70.9 million compared with $72.6 million for the 53-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013. Earnings per diluted share were $2.70 for the full year, compared with $2.72 for last year. “Looking ahead, we feel confident in our product offering, inventory levels and execution as we progress through this important season,” said president and CEO Jeff Rosenthal. “We also continue to be encouraged by new store unit growth and sales, and look forward to delivering value on our key initiatives in fiscal 2015." For the year, Hibbett opened 72 new stores, expanded 14 high performing stores and closed 18 underperforming stores, bringing the store base to 927 in 31 states as of Feb. 1. Looking ahead, the company expects earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.78 to $2.98 and an increase in comparable store sales in the low-to-mid single digit range. It also anticipates opening 75 to 80 new stores, expanding 10 to 15 stores and closing 15 to 20 underperforming locations.

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