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Bear of the Day

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What's going on in the sporting goods market? Hibbett Sports, Inc. (HIBB - Analyst Report) recently lowered fiscal 2014 earnings and same store sales guidance.

This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is only expected to grow earnings by 1.3% in fiscal 2014 as the retail environment remains challenging.

Hibbett Sports operates sporting goods stores predominantly in the South, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of the U.S. Its stores average about 5,000-square-feet and are located in strip malls and enclosed malls in small to mid-sized markets.

Comparable Store Sales Soft

On Aug 23, Hibbett reported second quarter results and did beat the Zacks Consensus by 2 cents. Earnings were 40 cents compared to the Consensus of 38 cents.

But comparable same store sales rose just 0.3% year over year. The company blamed the soft sales on a "challenging economic environment."

Fiscal 2014 Guidance Cut

Despite being encouraged by a strong start to the third quarter, and beating the Consensus Estimate for the second quarter, Hibbett still lowered its full year earnings guidance to the range of $2.65 to $2.77 from previous guidance of $2.85 to $3.05.

Full year comparable store sales are now expected to be in the low single-digit range which is down from the low to mid single-digit range it had been forecasting.

The analysts didn't wait around for more news. They cut fiscal 2014 to $2.76 from $2.91 but they also aren't optimistic on fiscal 2015 either. They slashed fiscal 2015 to $3.16 from $3.35.

Shares Volatile

Shares plunged on news of the cut to full year guidance.

It doesn't look like things will improve in the near term. Even the company said there were "on-going uncertainties" in this economic environment.

If you must own a company in that sector, Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. (BGFV - Analyst Report) which is based out west is expected to grow earnings by 79% this year. It's a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Value Investor services. You can follow her on twitter at @TraceyRyniec.

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