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Bull of the Day

Backed by double-digit sales growth along with operational efficiencies, Hibbett Sports Inc.'s (HIBB) earnings of $0.98 per share for first-quarter fiscal 2013 surged 29% from the prior-year quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.92. Buoyed by better-than-expected results, continued sales momentum along with improved cost management and margins, the company raised its expectations for fiscal 2013.

The company now forecasts earnings in the range of $2.50 - $2.65 per share, up from $2.35 - $2.55 forecasted earlier. Management also remains committed of expanding its store network by 55 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013. Moreover, Hibbett's sharp focus on mid-sized and smaller markets and strategic mix of branded as well as localized merchandise provide an edge over its rivals.

Hibbett has a healthy balance sheet with no debt. Currently, we are maintaining a long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.

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