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Hibbett Sports (HIBB) Up on Strong Preliminary Q4 Results

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Despite the tough retail environment in the face of COVID-19, Hibbett Sports, Inc. (HIBB - Free Report) announced an encouraging preliminary business update for fourth-quarter fiscal 2021. Driven by favorable merchandise assortment and enhanced omnichannel capabilities, management increased its earlier guided view for the fiscal fourth quarter. Also, strong demand for footwear, apparel and accessories contributed to quarterly growth.

Notably, the company witnessed comparable sales (comps) growth of 21.9% in the fiscal fourth quarter on the back of sustained momentum both in-store and online. This compares favorably with the prior view of comps growth of high-single to low-double digits. Moreover, it performed better-than-expected during the holiday season. Also, comps advanced 22.2% year over year in fiscal 2021.

As a result, GAAP and adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal fourth quarter are now envisioned to be $1.3-$1.4, suggesting an increase from $1-$1.1. For fiscal 2021, the bottom line is expected to be $4.3-$4.4 per share on a GAAP basis, while adjusted earnings are likely to be $6.05-$6.15 per share.

Shares of the company rose 2.2% on Feb 10, 2021, following the preliminary update. Also, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock surged 63.9% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 18.4%.

Additionally, Hibbett highlighted that it gained from new customer acquisitions in stores and websites in fiscal 2021, driven by pent-up demand, government stimulus and market disruptions. The company remains optimistic about the current online boom, as consumers are increasingly shifting to the digital platform, and expects it to be a permanent change. The company is likely to retain new customers and add more in fiscal 2022.

Moreover, it is making efforts including store refresh program, supply-chain enhancements and increased focus on sales culture in a bid to improve in-store experience. Going ahead, management anticipates uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 situation to continue.

That said, the company issued GAAP guidance for fiscal 2022. It doesn’t foresee any material difference between GAAP and non-GAPP figures. Comps are projected between negative low-single digits and positive low-single digits. Earnings per share are forecasted to be $5-$5.5 for fiscal 2022.

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