Dick’s Sporting Goods poised for worst day since 2015

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Enthusiasm for Dick’s Sporting Goods waned on Tuesday, leaving the company’s shares poised for their biggest one-day drop since November 2015 after the sporting-goods retailer issued a downbeat forecast.

Shares in Dick’s Sporting Goods fell 9.3 per cent to $47.87 on Tuesday after the Pittsburgh-based company projected full-year 2017 earnings in the range of $3.65 to $3.70 a share, shy of analysts’ estimates of $3.76. Moreover, it said like-for-like sales are expected to cool to between 2 to 3 per cent, following a 3.5 per cent rise in 2016.

And for the current quarter, the retailer said it estimates earnings in the range of 50 to 55 cents a share, below analysts’ estimates of 61 cents.

The news accompanied fourth=quarter profits of $90.2m, or 81 cents a share, which missed the company’s previous estimates of $1.15 to $1.27 a share. It was also down from profits of $128.99m, or $1.13 a share, in the year-ago period.

The results included a $46m writedown on the value of inventory that does not fit with its new merchandising strategy. It also includes another $47m in charges tied to store closures, as well as the costs of converting former Sports Authority stores that it snapped up after its one-time rival filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and put its assets on the auction block

Adjusting for those one-time items, the company reported earnings of $1.32 a share, ahead of analysts’ estimates of $1.30 a share.

Meanwhile, net sales rose nearly 11 per cent from a year ago, to $2.5bn, above expectations thanks to a boost from footwear. The Chicago Cubs’ World Series championship also helped lift apparel sales. Consolidated like-for-like sales rose 2.5 per cent.

Dick’s gained market share last year during a particularly challenging time for specialty sports retailers, which drove consolidation in the industry. The Sports Authority and Vestis Retail Group, the operator of Sport Chalet, both filed for bankruptcy last year, and Dick’s purchased Golfsmith at a bankruptcy auction in October.

“During 2016, we fulfilled the needs of displaced TSA, Sport Chalet and Golfsmith customers,” said Edward Stack, chief executive. He added:

We acquired their best store locations, customer information and transaction details at the SKU level. Leveraging this data, we reached out to displaced customers and planned for their needs with the right product offerings in the right locations. As a result, we realised meaningful market share gains, both in-store and online. In 2017, we’ll remain focused on aggressively capturing displaced market share.

Following a 50 per cent rally last year, Dick’s shares are down 9 per cent so far this year, including Tuesday’s sell-off.

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