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Sales at Big 5 Sporting inch down in Q1 FY'12
May '12
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, a leading sporting goods retailer, reported financial results for the fiscal 2012 first quarter ended April 1, 2012.

For the fiscal 2012 first quarter, net sales were $218.5 million, compared to net sales of $221.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Same store sales decreased 2.9% for the first quarter of 2012. The Company's first quarter sales were negatively affected by a lack of winter weather in most of the Company's geographic markets, which significantly reduced demand for cold weather apparel and footwear and snow-related products.

Gross profit for the fiscal 2012 first quarter was $67.4 million, compared to $72.2 million in the first quarter of the prior year. The Company's gross profit margin was 30.9% in the fiscal 2012 first quarter versus 32.6% in the first quarter of the prior year.

The decrease in gross profit margin was driven primarily by lower merchandise margins of 156 basis points reflecting the product sales mix shift away from higher margin winter-related products due to unfavorable winter weather conditions, as well as increased promotional activities and product cost inflation.

Selling and administrative expense as a percentage of net sales was 30.5% in the fiscal 2012 first quarter versus 30.4% in the first quarter of the prior year. Overall selling and administrative expense decreased $0.7 million during the quarter from the prior year due mainly to a reduction in employee benefit-related costs from higher than normal levels in the prior year period, as well as a reduction in debit card fees as a result of recent federal legislation.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $156,000, or $0.01 per diluted share. For the first quarter of fiscal 2011, net income was $2.8 million, or $0.13 per diluted share.

"Our results for the first quarter reflect the challenging economic conditions in our western markets and, most significantly, highly unfavorable winter weather conditions in most of our major geographic areas, which led to an over 25% decrease in winter-related product sales for the period," said Steven G. Miller, the Company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

"Excluding winter-related products, our sales performed positively in the first quarter and strength in non-winter merchandise has continued into the start of the second quarter as we move beyond the winter selling season. Our same store sales are currently running in the positive low single-digit range for the second quarter to date.

“We believe the positive trends in our business reflect the early benefits of our ongoing initiatives to refine our merchandising mix and adjust our promotional and marketing plans to better appeal to today's consumer."

Quarterly Cash Dividend
The Company's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on June 15, 2012 to stockholders of record as of June 1, 2012.

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