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Hibbett Sports (HIBB) Q4 Profit Tops Street; Sales Up 14 Pct, Margins Improve

 March 15, 2013 07:27 AM
 


(By Balachander) Hibbett Sports Inc. (NASDAQ: HIBB) posted a 23 percent growth in quarterly earnings, beating market expectations, on double-digit sales increase and expansion of margins.

Earnings increased to $19.4 million or $0.73 per share for the three months ended Feb. 2 from $15.8 million or $0.59 per share in the fourth quarter of last year.

Net sales rose 14 percent to $217 million and comparable store sales went up 4.9 percent.

Wall Street analysts, on average, expected HIBB to earn 71 cents a share on sales growth of 13.80 percent.

"The holiday season was strong due to solid performance in footwear, apparel, and accessories," CEO Jeff Rosenthal said.

[Related -My Top 10 Fairly Valued Fast-Growing Stocks]

Gross margin improved to 36.1 percent from 35.8 percent.

For the full year, Hibbett earned $73 million on sales of $819 million.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2014, the company expects EPS in the range of $2.85 to $3.05, while analysts expect $3.02. HIBB forecasts comparable store sales growth in the low to mid-single digit range.

As of Feb. 2, the company's store base was 873 in 29 states.

HIBB shares, which have been trading in the 52-week range between $49.78 and $63.39, closed Thursday's trading at $53.63.

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