Dick’s shares take a hit on disappointing holiday sales

FILE- In this March 1, 2018, file photo, a sign for Dick’s Sporting Goods store is displayed at the store in Madison, Miss. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Dick’s Sporting Goods shares slid before the opening bell Tuesday on some disappointing holiday sales numbers.

Sales at existing stores fell 2 percent during the fourth quarter, which was about double the decline Wall Street was expecting. Industry analysts watch that figure closely as a barometer of a retailer’s health as it excludes the volatility of stores recently opened or closed.

Dick’s is fending off competition from Amazon.com and other online sports gear sellers. The company said in November that profits this year would be under pressure because of new investments it’s making to boost performance.

The company stepped into the national spotlight last month when, in the aftermath of a school massacre in Parkland, Florida, it banned the sale of assault-style rifles and the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.

Other retailers followed suit, including Walmart, which also raised its minimum age rules for firearms.

For the period ended Feb. 3, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. earned $116 million, or $1.11 per share. A year earlier the company, based just outside of Pittsburgh in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, earned $90.2 million, or 81 cents per share.

Excluding certain items, earnings were $1.22 per share. That’s 2 cents better than analysts expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose to $2.66 billion, from $2.48 billion, with online sales up about 9 percent. But that was still shy of Wall Street projections for $2.73 billion.

Dick’s expects 2018 earnings of about $2.80 to $3 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict $2.79 per share.

Shares fell 6 percent before the opening bell on Tuesday.

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