Shares of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. were down 5.6% Wednesday on news released a day earlier (Story) that the-largest-sporting-goods-retailer-on-the-west-coast cut its profit outlook for its fourth quarter and totalyear, which analysts blamed on weak sales of snow sports gear.
Two of the brokerages that helped manage the company’s initial public offering last summer responded by lowering their views on the stock.
In a research note to clients, US Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst Brent Rystrom said the company’s fourth-quarter comparable-store sales increase of 0.4% was well short of his 5% estimate “due to weakness in the ski equipment and ski apparel areas.” He downgraded BGFV to “Outperform” from “Strong Buy”.
The retailer, which held its IPO in June, said it now expects fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share, down from a prior view of 42 cents to 44 cents.
Wall Street was expecting, on average, earnings of 42 cents a share, according to market tracker Thomson First Call.
U.S. sporting goods retailers suffered through a weak holiday shopping season, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday. While overall retail sales rose 1.2% for December, sales in the sporting goods and hobbies segment fell 0.9% from the month before.
“Like most other retailers, Big 5 will be up against tough first half comparisons, which will probably be exacerbated by a continued soft consumer environment,” Jefferies & Co. analyst Donald Trott said. He cut his 12-month share price target for Big 5 to $13 from $15.
The company’s shares have fallen about 28 percent in the past month and are about 21% below their IPO price of $13 a share.