Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. gained 2.6 percent in Monday morning trading after the company lifted its fourth-quarter guidance on same-store sales results that exceeded expectations.
The Pittsburgh-based sports and fitness retailer expects earnings per share of between $1.10 and $1.11 a diluted share in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, higher than the range of between $1.04 and $1.07 provided on Nov. 19. The consensus estimate among analysts tracking the company was for EPS of $1.06.
Comparable-store sales, originally expected to rise 3 to 4 percent, finished the quarter ahead 7 percent after adjusting for the 14th week of the final quarter of 2012. Excluding that adjustment, comps rose 6 percent in the quarter.
“Even with the cautious consumer environment and a shorter and promotional holiday season, we generated sale well above our original expectations, maintained merchandise margin levels consistent with last year and leveraged [selling, general and administrative expenses],” said Edward Stack, chairman and chief executive officer of the company. “We enter 2014 with a robust and growing omnichannel network and exciting merchandising opportunities which we believe will translate into double-digit earnings growth.”
Full-year EPS expectations were adjusted accordingly to a range of $2.68 to $2.69.
In preliminary guidance for 2014, the company said it expects earnings of $3.03 to $3.08 a diluted share. Analysts’ consensus estimates for the new year were for EPS of $3.09.
Shares advanced $1.35, or 2.6 percent, to $52.45 in morning trading Monday following the report.
John Zolidis, analyst at Buckingham Research, maintained his “buy” rating and $68 price target for the stock. “Based on our work, we believe the strength was related to a very good outerwear season produced by favorable weather,” he wrote in a research note. “We also believe new products from key vendors — including Nike Inc….and Under Armour Inc….in apparel and footwear, DKS’ two largest categories, contributed to the sales gains.”
Dick’s operates 558 stores under the Dick’s Sporting Goods banner and another 79 under the Golf Galaxy name as well as Web sites and catalogue operations for both of its brands.