Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Guns, Golf Hit Dick's but Sports Clothing Helps Mixed Q3 Profits

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Guns, Golf Hit Dick's but Sports Clothing Helps Mixed Q3 Profits

Article excerpt

Gifts for hunters might be available at a discount at Dick's Sporting Goods this holiday season. The Findlay retailer conceded Tuesday that sales of guns and ammunition are still sluggish following a couple of years when changing political winds spurred a rush to the stores.

But Dick's said growing demand for women's and youth sports clothing have rewarded the retailer's decision earlier this year to shift thousands of square feet of sales space at its stores around the country away from declining sports like golf and toward expanded offerings in those areas.

"I think we are starting to get a reputation of having this product and I think it is starting to generate some additional traffic," said Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO, on a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings results with analysts.

Dick's reported a profit of $49.2 million, or 41 cents per share, in the three months ended Nov. 1, compared to $50 million, or 40 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Total sales rose 9 percent over last year's third quarter to $1.5 billion, while sales at stores that have been open at least a year - a statistic known as same-store sales - rose 1.1 percent. Excluding golf and hunting, the rest of Dick's business posted a 4.6 percent gain in same-store sales.

Based on the year so far, the company fine-tuned its guidance for full fiscal-year results, now projecting that adjusted earnings will be in the range of $2.75 to $2.85 per share. In August, Dick's set the target at $2.70 to $2.85.

Mr. Stack said tightening that forecast shows the company's confidence it is ready for the important holiday season.

"I think we have a great marketing campaign that is out there, that hopefully many of you have seen already running on TV. I think we have the assortment that our merchants brought forward that consumers are going to look for," he said. …

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