Dick's Sporting Goods 4Q EPS, Guidance Receive Cheers

Carried by stronger-than-expected sales growth, Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) revealed a 30% jump in fiscal fourth-quarter profits on Tuesday.

The Pittsburgh-based sporting goods retailer said it earned $87.5 million, or 71 cents a share, in the quarter ended January 29, compared with a profit of $67.4 million, or 56 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 76 cents a share, surpassing forecasts from analysts for 72 cents.

Dick’s said its sales increased 14% to $1.52 billion, beating the Street’s view of $1.45 billion. Same-store sales jumped 9.4% last quarter.

“We have successfully navigated the storms of the recession and have executed our business plan by posting six consecutive quarters of same store sales gains, opening 26 new stores in 2010, expanding our margin rates and reducing inventory per square foot,” CEO Edward Stack said in a statement. “As a result, we are solidly positioned to generate further growth and increased operating margins in the coming years."

Looking ahead, Dick’s projected fiscal 2011 same-store sales will rise 3%, translating to EPS of $1.89 to $1.91, which compares favorably with consensus calls for $1.86. It also called for EPS of 26 cents to 28 cents for the current quarter, in line with the Street’s view of 27 cents.

Shareholders cheered the results and upbeat guidance, bidding Dick’s stock 4.78% higher to $39.47 ahead of Tuesday’s open. The stock closed on Monday virtually unchanged on the year.