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Hibbett Sports, Inc. (HIBB - Analyst Report), the operator of sporting goods stores, is slated to report second-quarter fiscal 2015 results before the market opens on Aug 22, 2014. In the last quarter, it posted a negative surprise of 0.9%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors Influencing this Quarter

Hibbett’s preliminary results for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 indicates soft comparable store sales due to lower-than-expected traffic as customers still remain cautious on their purchases. Consequently, the company provided lackluster earnings guidance for the second quarter and curbed its expectations for fiscal 2015. Management also expects gross margin to remain under pressure due to higher markdowns.

Hibbett projects second-quarter earnings in the band of 30 cents to 32 cents a share against 40 cents earned in the prior-year quarter. For fiscal 2015, the company now envisions earnings between $2.63 and $2.73, down from $2.78 to $2.98 per share projected earlier.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Hibbett is likely to beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. This is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: ESP for Hibbett is 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 31 cents.

Zacks Rank: Hibbett’s Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) lowers the predictive power of ESP. We need to have a positive ESP to be confident about an earnings surprise. We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks that Warrant a Look

Here are some companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +10.00% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +7.69% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +1.33% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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