Big 5 Shows Big Q4 Sales

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) reported stronger-than-expected sales for its fourth quarter. The company narrowed fourth-quarter EPS guidance and issued strong FY18 EPS forecast.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based chain reported that for the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter, net sales were $247.1 million compared to net sales of $242.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Same store sales increased 1.1% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.

The Company’s merchandise margins decreased approximately 11 basis points for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

For the fiscal 2018 full year, net sales decreased to $987.6 million from $1.01 billion in fiscal 2017. Same store sales decreased 2.7% for the fiscal 2018 full year. The Company’s merchandise margins decreased approximately 12 basis points for the fiscal 2018 full year, compared to fiscal 2017.

Total merchandise inventories were down approximately 7.0% at year-end versus the prior year, reflecting a significant reduction of winter product inventory as well as the Company’s efforts to optimize inventory levels across its product assortment.

Fiscal year-end debt levels decreased by approximately $19 million from the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2018 to $65 million as of the end of 2018.

For the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter, the Company now expects to realize a loss per share in the range of $0.15 to $0.17, which compares to the Company’s previous guidance for the fourth quarter of a loss per share in the range of $0.15 to $0.25.

For the fiscal 2018 full year, the Company now expects to realize a loss per share in the range of $0.08 to $0.10.

Shares gained 33 cents, or 10.3%, to $3.64