Dick's Sporting Q4 profit beats estimates

today Mar 8, 2011
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Tue Mar 8, 2011 - Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (DKS.N) posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast a strong year ahead as it saw margins swell and online sales rise during the holiday quarter, sending shares up 6 percent.

"Dick's Sporting is well positioned with strong leadership, strong and unique top line drivers, good sector positioning, is investing for the future, and has an ability to generate consistent returns," analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note.

With an opportunity to re-accelerate store growth and relatively less competitive environment, the analysts expect earnings to grow some 20 percent.

For the fourth quarter, the company earned $87.5 million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $67.4 million, or 56 cents a share, last year.

On an adjusted basis, it earned 76 cents a share.

Analysts, on an average, were expecting earnings of 72 cents per share on sales of $1.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales at the company rose about 14 percent to $1.52 billion.

"Given the impressive top-line momentum, which showed little impact from January's storms, and our belief that February saw a nice rebound ... we believe the market should reward today's results," analyst Christopher Horvers wrote in a note.

Same store sales rose 9.4 percent while the company's e-commerce business jumped 36.3 percent.

For the November-January quarter, the largest publicly traded sporting goods retailer in the United States saw margins rise 240 basis points over last year, beating estimates of a 180 basis points rise by JP Morgan analysts.

The company sells branded merchandise like athletic footwear, gear and apparel under brands such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armor.

For 2011, Dick's Sporting expects to earn $1.89-1.91 per share against average analysts' expectations of $1.86 per share.

Analyst Horvers added that Dick's Sporting also tends to be "purposefuly conservative" when it comes to forecasts.

Shares of the company were trading more than 4 percent up at $39.28 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon and Joyjeet Das)

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