US sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports has announced that its net income for the third quarter was US$7.8m compared with $9.9m in the prior-year period.

The company said that net sales decreased 0.02% to $129.6m compared with $129.7m for the 13-week period ended 28 October, while same-store sales increased 1.2%.

Mickey Newsome, chairman and CEO, said: "Our third quarter earnings were at the high end of our forecasted range driven by comparable sales increases in apparel and footwear on a calendar basis. Our inventory is well positioned as we head into this very important holiday shopping season and the remainder of the year."

Hibbett opened 18 new stores and closed 2 stores during the quarter, bringing its store base to 650 in 23 states.

For the fourth fiscal quarter the company expects to report earnings per diluted share of $0.36 to $0.44 with low a single-digit same-store sales increase on a calendar basis.