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Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. (BGFV - Analyst Report) is set to report third-quarter 2013 results on Oct 29. Last quarter, it posted a 3.7% positive surprise. Let us see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors in the Past Quarter

Benefits from the shift in Easter timings and the company’s impressive merchandise improvement strategy facilitated mid single-digit top-line growth in the last quarter. Moreover, same-store sales rose 4.4% over the year-ago quarter on the back of increased customer traffic and higher average sale. Furthermore, we remain impressed with the company’s sustained focus on improvising merchandise margins and effective cost management, which helped it post strong bottom-line results for the sixth straight quarter.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively project Big 5 Sporting to beat earnings this quarter. A stock needs to have both positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 to surpass earnings estimates. However, that is not the case here due to the following factors:

Zacks ESP: ESP for Big 5 Sporting is 0.00% since the Most Accurate Estimate stands at 44 cents per share, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks Rank: Big 5 Sporting’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings surprise call. We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into earnings announcement, especially when the company is undergoing negative estimate revisions.

Other Stocks to Consider

Big 5 Sporting is not the only firm we are looking up to this earnings season. Our model shows that the following stocks have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:

Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +7.02% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Five Below, Inc. (FIVE - Snapshot Report) has an Earnings ESP of +50.00% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Avon Products Inc. (AVP - Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +5.26% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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