Mar 14, 2010
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Hibbett fourth quarter profit tops market view

Mar 14, 2010

March 12 (Reuters) - Hibbett Sports Inc (HIBB.O) reported quarterly results that sailed past Wall Street estimates as it benefited from strong sales of cold-weather gear and championship victories by football teams in the retailer's key markets.

For fiscal 2011, Birmingham, Alabama-based Hibbett projected earnings in the range of $1.12 to $1.30 a share. Same-store sales are expected to be up 1 percent to 4 percent.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $1.18, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

A first-ever Super Bowl win for the New Orleans Saints and the triumph of national college champions Alabama Crimson Tide, as well as surprisingly cold weather in the south have boosted sales at the retailer.

"We are encouraged that the positive sales trend has accelerated into the first quarter of fiscal 2011," Mickey Newsome, executive chairman, said in a statement.

For the fourth quarter, Hibbett earned $11.8 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with $7.6 million, or 26 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 31 cents a share.

Sales rose 13 percent to $166.8 million, surpassing market estimates of $155.1 million.

Shares of the retailer closed at $24.71 Thursday 11 March on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Viraj Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)

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