Hibbett Sports 3rd-qtr profit rises 15 percent

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2009 6:43 PM

Sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports Inc. said Thursday its profit rose 15 percent in the third quarter as sales rose and it took better control of inventory and expenses.

Based in Birmingham, Ala., the company earned $8.8 million, or 30 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That is up from the $7.7 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest quarterly results beat a 24 cent per share estimate of analysts.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $145.9 million from $140.1 million. Analysts had expected $144 million.

The retailer also raised its 2010 profit forecast to a range of 95 cents to $1.02 per share from 85 cents to 95 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect profit of 92 cents per share.

The company's stock jumped in after-hours trading by $1.53, or 8 percent, to $20.50. It closed at $18.97, down 5.2 percent from a day earlier.

Sales at Hibbett stores that have been open at least a year fell 0.2 percent during the quarter. The figure is considered a key measure of retailer performance because it excludes the impact of stores opening or closing during the year.

The company said it expects the figure to change in a range from rising 2 percent to falling 2 percent for the fourth quarter.

Hibbett authorized $250 million in share buybacks to be completed by Feb. 2, 2013. That program replaces one that was to expire Jan. 30, 2010, under which the company bought back $167 million in shares.