• Q3 earnings drop to US$16.9m
  • Gross profit narrows to 36.3%
  • Sales grow 5%

US retailer Hibbett Sports has raised its full-year EPS guidance and said it is confident of driving a solid performance through the holiday season, despite booking a drop in third-quarter earnings.

In the three months ended 1 November, net income dropped to US$16.9m from $17.3m a year earlier, as a result of a slowing performance in October.

Gross profit narrowed slightly to 36.3% of net sales, compared with 36.8% last year. Net sales meanwhile grew 5% to $218.3m from $208m a year earlier. Comparable store sales edged up 0.6%.

CEO Jeff Rosenthal, said the company was "pleased" with its performance during the back-to-school season, with an acceleration of comparable store sales in August against high single-digit comps in the prior year.

He added: "Our new store growth continues to be robust, with the opening of a record 26 stores in the third quarter. We are on track to achieve our goal of 75 to 80 new store openings for the year. As we look ahead to the holiday season, we are confident that our product selection and inventory levels are in a good position to drive solid performance."

The company raised its full-year guidance to earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.72 to $2.77. This compares to previous guidance of $2.63 to $2.73. It also reaffirmed an expected increase in comparable store sales in the low single-digit range.