Sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports Inc has raised its earnings outlook for the year after posting an 8.1% rise in third quarter sales.

For the three months ended 1 November the company, which operates 726 stores, said net income was almost flat at $7.7m million, or $0.26 per share, compared with $7.8m, or $0.25 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales increased to $140.1m from $129.6m, and same-store sales were up by 0.4%.

Mickey Newsome, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company's new management information systems helped by driving "positive comparable store sales and effectively managing our inventories."

He added: "We believe the company is positioned to weather the uncertainty facing retailers this holiday season."

Hibbett Sports raised its earnings outlook for the fiscal year to a range of $0.97 to $1.04 per share, based on comparable store sales ranging from flat to up 2% for the fourth quarter.