NEW YORK — Shares of The Sports Authority shot up $2.05, or more than 7 percent, to $30.78 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday after the retailer reported better-than-expected first-quarter profits, and saw its stock upgraded by analysts.
In the first quarter ended April 30, profits were $8 million, or 30 cents a share, up from $4.2 million, or 16 cents a share in the same period last year. However, excluding merger charges of $5.2 million in last year’s first quarter, year-ago net income was $9.4 million. Analysts on average had been looking for the company to earn 25 cents a share.
Sales gained 3.4 percent to $591.2 million from $570.2 million, and same-store sales edged up 1.8 percent.
“Our performance activewear business continues to perform extremely well,” David Campisi, TSA’s president of merchandising, said on a conference call with analysts. “Our business with several of our key vendors — Nike, Under Armour, Adidas — was extremely strong during the quarter, driven primarily by strong allocations of key products like Nike Pro.”
Footwear was also strong in the quarter. The company saw softness in the outdoor category and in “wheeled sports,” such as in-line skates, he noted.
Doug Morton, chief executive officer, said the Sports Authority’s initiatives to reduce debt and inventory are “progressing ahead of plan.”
TSA, which operates 393 stores, expects to earn 47 cents to 49 cents a share in the second quarter, and $1.90 to $1.97 for the year.