(By Balachander) Hibbett Sports Inc. (NASDAQ:HIBB) boosted its guidance after the company reported higher quarterly earnings on growth in sales and expansion of margins. Yet, HIBB's sales for the three-month period fell short of market expectations, and its shares retreated 9.72 percent in early trading on Friday.
Earnings were $7.9 million or $0.30 per share for the three months ended July 28, up from $5.9 million or $0.21 per share in the second quarter of last year.
Net sales rose 8.0 percent to $165.4 million. Comparable store sales went up 4.8 percent for the second quarter.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected HIBB to earn 28 cents a share on sales growth of 10.8 percent.
Gross margin improved to 34.2 percent from 33.1 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year, the company now expects EPS in the range of $2.57 to $2.67 from prior expectations of $2.50 to $2.65, while analysts expect $2.66. HIBB continues to forecast comparable store sales growth in the mid single digit range.
As of July 28, the company's store base was 837 in 26 states.
HIBB shares, which have been trading in the 52-week range between $31.03 and $63.39, closed Thursday's trading at $61.80.