Net sales down 7.28% at Big 5 Sporting in Q3 FY’12

November 02, 2012 - United States Of America

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, a leading sporting goods retailer, reported financial results for the fiscal 2012 third quarter and first nine months ended September 30, 2012.

For the fiscal 2012 third quarter, net sales increased to $251.8 million from net sales of $234.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Same store sales increased 5.2% for the third quarter of 2012 versus the comparable period in the prior year. As anticipated, third quarter sales reflect a modest benefit over the prior year from the calendar shift of the Fourth of July holiday, which resulted in certain holiday-related sales moving from the second quarter to the third quarter for 2012.

Gross profit for the fiscal 2012 third quarter increased to $83.9 million from $77.0 million in the third quarter of the prior year. The Company's gross profit margin was 33.3% in the fiscal 2012 third quarter versus 32.8% in the third quarter of the prior year. The increase in gross profit margin reflects an increase in merchandise margins of 25 basis points and the leveraging of store occupancy and distribution costs.

Selling and administrative expense as a percentage of net sales improved to 27.9% in the fiscal 2012 third quarter from 28.8% in the third quarter of the prior year. Overall selling and administrative expense increased $2.9 million during the quarter from the prior year due primarily to higher store-related expenses reflecting an increased store count, increased employee benefit-related costs and a pre-tax charge of $0.4 million related to the closing of one store.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $8.2 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, including a store closing charge of $0.01 per diluted share, versus net income of $5.8 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2011.

For the 39-week period ended September 30, 2012, net sales increased to $696.9 million from net sales of $675.4 million in the 39 weeks ended October 2, 2011. Same store sales increased 1.2% in the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2012 versus the comparable period last year. Net income was $10.9 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, including $0.04 of store closing and non-cash impairment charges, for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2012, compared to net income of $11.7 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, including a $0.02 non-cash impairment charge, for the comparable period last year.

"We are extremely pleased with our third quarter results, which built on the positive momentum in the second quarter and exceeded our earnings guidance," said Steven G. Miller, the Company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We experienced improvement in both customer traffic and average sale, as well as expanded merchandise and operating margins.

“The strength of our performance was broad-based, as same store sales increased in each of our geographic regions and across all of our major product categories of apparel, footwear and hardgoods. We believe our business has continued to benefit from the merchandise and marketing initiatives that we have implemented over the last year. Additionally, our summer product sales benefited from relatively favorable weather compared to the prior year."


"We believe our third quarter results illustrate our ability to meaningfully leverage expenses and drive earnings growth as our sales improve," continued Mr. Miller. "Along with our strong sales and margin results, we reduced inventory levels per-store at quarter end by 3.7% versus the prior year. Our year-to-date operating cash flow at the end of the third quarter improved over $40 million compared to the prior year, and our debt levels declined by $16.5 million or 23.9% year over year."

Mr. Miller concluded, "We are encouraged that the positive sales trends have continued into the fourth quarter and are excited about our holiday product assortment and marketing plans.  We remain focused on continuing to drive the business by broadening our appeal to include consumers with more discretionary income while maintaining our strong value proposition, and further leveraging our merchandise and operating improvements."

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 December 14, 2012 to stockholders of record as of November 30, 2012.

Share Repurchases

During the fiscal 2012 third quarter, the Company repurchased 105,100 shares of its common stock for a total expenditure of $0.9 million. As of the end of the third quarter, the Company had approximately $10.0 million available for future stock repurchases under its $20.0 million share repurchase program authorized in the fiscal 2007 fourth quarter.

Guidance

For the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, the Company expects same store sales in the positive mid-single-digit range and earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.13 to $0.21. For comparative purposes, the Company reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 of $9,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, including a non-cash impairment charge of $0.05 per diluted share.

Store Openings

During the third quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company opened two stores and closed two stores, one of which relates to a relocation. The Company ended the fiscal 2012 third quarter with 407 stores in operation.

During the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, the Company currently anticipates opening eight new stores, including one relocation, and closing one store. For the fiscal 2012 full year, the Company currently anticipates opening fourteen new stores, including three relocations, and closing six stores, including two relocations. The Company currently expects to end fiscal 2012 with 414 stores in operation.