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Big 5 experiences positive sales trends
12
Nov '09
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, a leading sporting goods retailer, reported financial results for the fiscal 2009 third quarter ended September 27, 2009.

For the fiscal 2009 third quarter, net sales increased to $231.6 million from net sales of $223.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. As the Company previously reported, same store sales increased 1.6% for the third quarter, representing the second consecutive quarter of same store sales growth despite a continued challenging consumer environment.

Gross profit for the fiscal 2009 third quarter was $78.5 million, compared to $74.3 million in the third quarter of the prior year. The Company's gross profit margin was 33.9% in the fiscal 2009 third quarter versus 33.3% in the third quarter of the prior year. The improvement in gross profit margin was driven primarily by an increase in merchandise margins of 13 basis points and lower distribution costs.

Selling and administrative expense as a percentage of net sales improved to 28.2% in the fiscal 2009 third quarter versus 29.6% in the third quarter of the prior year. Overall selling and administrative expense declined $0.6 million for the quarter from the same period last year due primarily to lower advertising expense, partially offset by higher store-related expenses.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 improved to $8.0 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, from net income of $4.5 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

For the 39-week period ended September 27, 2009, net sales increased to $657.9 million from net sales of $645.0 million for the same period last year. Same store sales decreased 0.8% in the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2009 versus the same period last year. Net income improved by 49.7% to $15.4 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2009, from net income of $10.3 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Results for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2008 included a nonrecurring charge of $0.04 per diluted share recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

"We are pleased to deliver a solid third quarter top and bottom line performance, as our customer value proposition and proven business model continue to produce positive results," said Steven G. Miller, the Company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The commitment and hard work of our dedicated associates have enabled us to successfully weather the difficult economic environment and improve many of our key financial metrics. We increased same store sales for the second consecutive quarter and grew net income by 80%. Through prudent inventory management, we lowered inventory levels on a per-store basis by approximately 8% at the end of the third quarter compared to the prior year and we generated operating cash flow of $47.4 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2009, a 61% increase from the same period last year. We also have continued to reduce debt levels, ending the third quarter with $60 million of long-term debt compared to $100 million at the end of the third quarter last year."

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