Shares of Hibbett Sports Inc. (HIBB - Free Report) gained 14.7% on Nov 22, driven by strong third-quarter fiscal 2020 results. The company’s top and bottom lines beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year. Results were driven by solid contributions from the City Gear business as well as strong in-store and online sales. Further, the company raised the view for fiscal 2020.
In the past three months, the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has rallied 72.5% against the industry’s 6.2% decline.
Hibbett’s adjusted earnings of 32 cents per share increased substantially from 14 cents reported in the year-ago quarter. The bottom line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 13 cents by a wide margin.
Net sales grew 27% year over year to $275.5 million and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $256 million. The increase can be attributed to progress on the integration of City Gear (acquired a year ago) into Hibbett’s business. Notably, the City Gear business contributed $43.7 million to net sales in the fiscal third quarter.
Comparable store sales (comps), excluding City Gear sales, rose 10.7% in the quarter, marking the fourth successive quarter of positive comps and strongest comps growth since first-quarter fiscal 2013. Comps benefited from strong performance in brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses. Further, gains from a delayed back-to-school period, innovative launches and early demand for fall apparel drove the increase.
Robust footwear sales primarily aided comps, driven by continued investments in the category. Additionally, positive sales in activewear and accessories connected to footwear products were drivers. Footwear rose in the mid-teens, recording the ninth successive quarter of positive comps. The company witnessed double-digit growth in men's, women's and kids footwear, driven by strong launch calendar as well as strength in non-launch business. Meanwhile, apparel sales, including activewear, were up in low-single digits and accessories’ sales were up in mid-single digits. However, the licensed business declined in double-digits in the quarter, while team sports fell in low-single digits.
In the quarter, the company integrated City Gear’s online business into Hibbett’s digital portal. Additionally, Hibbett revamped its website and apps, and added flexible payment options for customers and launched same-day delivery in many markets. Driven by these actions, digital sales accounted for 10.5% of the total sales in the fiscal third quarter. Moreover, digital comps improved 52%.
Gross profit rose 27.9% to $90.2 million, with gross margin expanding 20 basis points (bps) to 32.7% primarily on lower occupancy costs as a percent of sales due to store closures completed in the past year. Lower occupancy costs also offset the decline in product margin, owing to increased e-commerce sales, which tends to generate lower margins compared with stores.
Operating income of $2.6 million improved 42.5% year over year, while operating margin expanded 20 bps. Excluding costs related to the City Gear acquisition and the company’s accelerated store closure plan; store operating, selling and administrative (SG&A) expenses declined 110 bps as a percentage of sales.
Other Financial Aspects
Hibbett ended the quarter with $77.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, $8 million in debt outstanding, and $92 million available under its credit facilities. Total stockholders’ investment as of Nov 2 was $336.2 million.
Further, Hibbett repurchased 371,976 shares for $7 million in the fiscal third quarter. As of Nov 2, it had $167.2 million remaining under its authorization for share repurchase through Jan 29, 2022.
For fiscal 2020, management continues to anticipate share buyback of $25-$30 million.
In third-quarter fiscal 2020, the company introduced four stores and rebranded four Hibbett stores to City Gear. However, it shut 19 underperforming outlets. Consequently, it ended the quarter with 1,097 stores across 35 states.
Management is on track to shut roughly 95 Hibbett stores in fiscal 2020 as part of its accelerated store closing plan. In this regard, it is anticipated to incur non-recurring impairment and store closure charges of 8-12 cents per share in fiscal 2020. The company still expects 80-85 net store closures for fiscal 2020.
Driven by its robust results in the first nine months of fiscal 2020, management raised its guidance for the fiscal year. Comps are now anticipated to be up 4-6% compared with 1-2% growth mentioned earlier. Excluding non-recurring costs, it now envisions adjusted earnings of $2.30-$2.50 per share, up from $2.15-$2.25 mentioned earlier and $1.77 earned in fiscal 2019.
Including non-recurring costs of about 75-80 cents per share, the company expects GAAP earnings of $1.55-$1.65 per share compared with $1.35-$1.5 mentioned previously.
It anticipates gross margin to be flat to up 20 bps compared with an increase of 30-40 bps stated earlier. It now expects adjusted gross margin between a 10-bps decline and a 10-bps increase compared with a 40-50 bps decline mentioned earlier.
The company expects rise in SG&A expenses, as a percentage of sales, of 60-80 bps, while anticipates the metric to decline 60-80 bps on an adjusted basis. Earlier, it estimated rise in SG&A expenses, as a percentage of sales, of 50-70 bps, while it was expected to contract 40-60 bps on an adjusted basis. The company projects tax rate of 25.5%.
The company now projects capital expenditure of $15-$18 million for fiscal 2020 compared with $18-$20 million stated earlier.
3 Other Stocks to Watch in the Retail Space
Office Depot, Inc (ODP - Free Report) has a long-term growth rate of 11.1% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Michaels Companies, Inc (MIK - Free Report) has a long-term growth rate of 7% and a Zacks Rank #2.
Burlington Stores (BURL - Free Report) has a long-term growth rate of 15.7% and a Zacks Rank #2.
Today's Best Stocks from Zacks
Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through Q3 2019, while the S&P 500 gained +39.6%, five of our strategies returned +51.8%, +57.5%, +96.9%, +119.0%, and even +158.9%.
This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – Q3 2019, while the S&P averaged +5.6% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +54.1% per year.
See their latest picks free >>