By  on March 12, 2008

ATLANTA — Licensed merchandise associated with the Super Bowl helped boost Dick’s Sporting Goods’ net income 8 percent to $73.2 million in the fourth quarter, ended Feb. 2, over last year’s $67.7 million.

Earnings per diluted share in the 14-week quarter rose 3.3 percent to 62 cents over the prior year’s 60 cents, slightly beating its previous guidance of 60 to 61 cents per diluted share. Dick’s also credited the increase to an extra week of operations. The fiscal 2006 fourth quarter consisted of 13 weeks.

Sales climbed 18 percent to $1.2 billion from $1 billion, which Dick’s said was a result of new store openings, the inclusion of Golf Galaxy in this year’s quarterly results and a comp store increase of 2.7 percent on a 13 to 13-week comparable basis. Comp-store sales for Golf Galaxy, which Dick’s acquired in February 2007, decreased 8.8 percent on a 13 to 13-week proforma basis.

Net income for the 52-week year increased 38 percent to $155 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, from $112.6 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, in the prior year’s 53-week period. Sales rose 25 percent to $3.9 billion from $3.1 billion.

Dick’s outlook for the first quarter in fiscal 2008 is for consolidated earnings per diluted share of approximately 16 to 19 cents, compared to 19 cents per diluted share in fiscal 2007. The retailer projected consolidated earnings per diluted share of approximately $1.49 to $1.54 for the full year 2008, compared to $1.33 for fiscal 2007.

Dick’s, which acquired Chick’s Sporting Goods on Nov. 30, 2007, currently operates 340 Dick’s stores, 79 Golf Galaxy stores and 14 Chick’s stores.

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