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Hibbett Profits Hurt by Retail Malaise

A difficult retail environment in April led Hibbett Sports, Inc. to lower earnings.

ATLANTA — A difficult retail environment in April led Hibbett Sports, Inc. to lower earnings and an 11 percent dip in net income in the Birmingham, Ala.-based sporting goods retailer’s first quarter, ended May 5.

Net income fell to $10.2 million, or 32 cents per share, from $11.5 million, of 35 cents per share, a year ago. Sales increased 5.5 percent to $133.8 million from $126.9 million, and comparable-store sales increased 0.7 percent on a comparable week basis. Hibbett noted that each quarter of fiscal 2008 starts one week later than the same quarter of fiscal 2007 because of its 2007 fiscal year having 53 weeks versus the normal 52 weeks. On a fiscal quarter basis, comparing the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2007, to the 13 weeks ended April 29, 2006, comp-store sales decreased 2.6 percent.

“As expected,” said Mickey Newsome, chairman and CEO, the shift of the first week in February from the first quarter into last year’s fourth quarter, negatively impacted our overall sales and our comparable-store sales on a fiscal basis.” He added that positive sales results in technical apparel, youth products and team sports equipment offset some softness experienced in our urban enclosed mall stores.”