Dick’s Sporting Goods shares tumble on dismal holiday sales

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Dick’s Sporting Goods on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that slightly topped analysts’ estimates, but revenue and same-store sales fell short.

Its shares were down more than 7% in premarket trading following the announcement.

Net income totaled $116 million, or $1.11 a share, for the quarter ended Feb. 3, compared with $90.2 million, or 81 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.22 a share, 2 cents above analysts’ estimates, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Revenue was $2.66 billion, below analysts’ expectations for $2.74 billion in sales.

Same-store sales were down 2% overall for the holiday period, Dick’s said, while analysts had forecast a decline of just 1%. Same-store sales grew 5% during the same period a year earlier.

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“As expected, margins remained under pressure, however, the decline was less than we anticipated,” CEO Ed Stack said in a statement. “In 2018, we expect stronger product innovation from select key partners and the continued expansion of our private brands to result in less margin pressure than previously expected.”

Moving forward, Dick’s said Tuesday it will no longer provide analysts and investors with a quarterly outlook, “to more closely align with industry practices.”

The company is calling for full-year earnings per share to fall within a range of $2.80 to 3.00. Same-store sales are expected to decline as much as a low-single-digit percentage, compared with a 0.3% drop in fiscal 2017.

Dick’s said it expects to open about 19 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in 2018 and to relocate four shops to different buildings. It’s not planning to open any new Field & Stream or Golf Galaxy stores this year.

For Dick’s, “some of the positives are being overlooked,” Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow has said. This includes favorable winter weather, an Eagles Super Bowl championship that likely lifted sales, and new regulations for Little League baseball bats that recently went into effect, which should draw shoppers into stores this Spring for replacements.

To be sure, the retailer faces continued pressure from discount retailers and Amazon to offer items at lower prices. Brands like Nike and Under Armour meanwhile are investing in selling more merchandise directly to consumers.

Dick’s private-label lines, including Second Skin and Calia by Carrie Underwood, are one way the company is trying to combat margin pressure. It’s also been making a bigger push to win shoppers online, and e-commerce sales grew 9% during the fourth quarter.

Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods have fallen more than 30% from a year ago.

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