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Big 5 Sporting's apparel sales up in low single-digit range
12
Jan '11
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, a leading sporting goods retailer, reported sales results for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter and full year ended January 2, 2011.

For the 13-week fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, net sales were $226.7 million, compared to net sales of $237.6 million for the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Same store sales decreased 0.7% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. After achieving same store sales growth in the low-to-mid single-digit range through the first two months of the quarter, which included the "Black Friday" weekend, sales trends turned negative during the shopping period before Christmas.

During the quarter, the Company's apparel sales increased in the low single-digit range, footwear sales were relatively flat and hardgoods sales decreased in the low single-digit range, all on a same store basis compared to the same period last year. The Company's merchandise margins decreased 20 basis points for the fourth quarter from the fourth quarter of 2009. As a reminder, the Company's merchandise margins improved 88 basis points during the fourth quarter of 2009 over the prior year period.

For the 52-week fiscal 2010 full year, net sales increased to $896.8 million from $895.5 million for the 53-week fiscal 2009 full year. Same store sales increased 0.8% for the fiscal 2010 full year.

As a result of the fiscal year calendar, the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter included 13 weeks and the fiscal 2010 full year included 52 weeks, compared to 14 weeks and 53 weeks for the respective reporting periods in fiscal 2009. For purposes of reporting same store sales comparisons to the prior year, the Company uses comparable 13-week and 52-week periods.

For the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, the Company now expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.23 to $0.25, excluding a net charge of $0.07 per diluted share related to legal matters as discussed, compared to a previously issued guidance range of $0.25 to $0.33. During the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter, the Company's earnings per diluted share were $0.32, excluding a net charge of $0.03 per diluted share related to legal matters. For the fiscal 2010 full year, the Company now expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.99 to $1.01, excluding the net charge of $0.07 per diluted share, compared to earnings per diluted share in the prior year of $1.04, excluding the net charge of $0.03 per diluted share.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company recorded a net pre-tax charge of $2.3 million, or $0.07 per diluted share after tax, for lawsuits previously disclosed in the Company's filings with the SEC, of which $1.5 million will be classified as selling and administrative expense and $0.8 million will be classified as a reduction in net sales. Including this charge, the Company expects to realize earnings per diluted share for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter in the range of $0.16 to $0.18.

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