Dick’s Sporting Goods’ stock tumbles on earnings report, sales miss


Dick’s Sporting Goods‘ shares tanked Tuesday as the retailer struggled to grow first-quarter same-store sales as much as Wall Street was expecting.

Dick’s also warned it is facing a “challenging retail environment” and is focused on cutting costs and streamlining operations — even as it moves ahead with plans to open new stores — in an attempt to turn a negative narrative around.

Shares of the stock were dropping more than 13 percent Tuesday, on track for their biggest one-day decline in three years. Trading volume is already more than double its average daily rate.

Dick’s reported same-store sales — a metric monitored closely by Wall Street for retail stocks — that grew 2.4 percent for the latest period, missing an analysts’ estimate of 3.5 percent growth, according to FactSet.

The sporting-goods retailer reported earnings of 54 cents per share adjusted on sales of $1.83 billion for the first quarter. Analysts were expecting Dick’s to post earnings of 54 cents a share on sales of $1.84 billion, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

“Despite a challenging retail environment, we realized growth across each of our three primary categories of hardlines, apparel and footwear, and were pleased with the performance of our newly relaunched eCommerce site,” CEO Edward Stack said in a statement.

The company remains “optimistic” about its plans to improve its online business and merchandising strategy. However, looking ahead, Stack said the retailer continues to “evaluate and adjust” its business model and is taking actions to reduce expenses in order to fund longer-term initiatives.

In the second quarter, for example, Dick’s expects to record a pretax charge of about $7 million for severance and other employee-related costs associated with the elimination of positions, primarily at its central support center.

Still, this year, Dick’s plans to open about 43 new stores and relocate six.

As Dick’s has been able to scoop up market share and vacant real estate that many of its bankrupt competitors, such as Sports Authority, have left behind, analysts have been anticipating better results from Stack and his team.

During Dick’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call earlier this year, Stack outlined how the company would continue grabbing share amid consolidation in the industry, raising the bar for Street expectations.

“The playing field for the coming fiscal year looks less competitive now that several players have fallen out of the market,” GlobalData Retail analyst Hakon Helgesen said in an email Tuesday. “However, this benefit to Dick’s seems to be counterbalanced by softer consumer demand.”

“We also believe that, over the medium term, competitive challenges could ramp up, especially given the rise of niche specialists, online players, and the entry of Sports Direct via its acquisition of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports,” Helgesen went on. “Against this backdrop, Dick’s will need to work far harder to generate growth.”

As of Tuesday’s close, shares of Dick’s have dropped about 22.71 percent for the year-to-date period, but are up a little more than 2.83 percent over the past 12 months.

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