Aug 31, 2017
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Academy Sports unveils earnings delay due to Hurricane Harvey

Aug 31, 2017

US sporting goods retailer Academy Sports & Outdoors' loans weakened in secondary trading Wednesday after the company said it would postpone its second quarter earnings release and conference call due to delays related to Hurricane Harvey, according to two sources familiar with the matter.


Harvey has ravaged the state of Texas – where Academy is headquartered and has a large store footprint – producing record rainfall that has resulted in at least 30 deaths. The company is currently hosting more than 400 first responders at its corporate office in Katy, according to a spokesperson.

Academy alerted lenders of its plans to defer on Tuesday. A new date has not yet been set for the earnings release and the call, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday.

Academy was struggling before the storm. As a brick-and-mortar retailer, the company has seen the value of its loans drop since September 2016 as it struggles to adjust to buyers' changing preferences. A shift to online shopping paired with a highly promotional environment has retailers across the board scrambling. Peers including Sports Authority, Sport Chalet, City Sports and Gander Mountain have recently filed for bankruptcy.

The company’s US$1.698bn term loan B due 2022 was quoted deeply in distressed territory at 69-71 on Monday, prior to the earnings postponement, one of the sources said. It is currently quoted at 67-69, the source added. The facility pays 400bp over Libor with a 1% floor and was placed in 2015 to back a dividend to private equity owner KKR, which acquired Academy in 2011.

KKR referred a request for comment to Academy.

In April, Moody’s Investors Service changed its outlook on the company to negative, citing the possibility that Academy may not be able to stem its recent earnings declines in the near term. In 2016, same-store sales decreased in the low-single-digit range and management adjusted Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, fell by 23%, according to Moody’s, which rates the company B2.

Standard & Poor’s also in April revised its outlook to negative given expectations for ongoing performance weakness. S&P rates Academy B-.

Both credit ratings agencies attributed the underperformance in part to the downturn in oil and gas markets and merchandising and inventory mismanagement.

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