Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. said comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 1.6%. The company now expects earnings per diluted share for the third quarter to be at or near the upper end of its previously issued guidance range of 27 cents to 34 cents. For comparative purposes, the company's EPS share for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was 21 cents.

The sporting goods chain updated its guidance in anticipation of the company's upcoming presentation at the Thomas Weisel Consumer Conference on October 1, 2009 in New York.

“We are pleased that our preliminary third quarter results reflect continued solid financial performance, as same store sales were consistently positive throughout the quarter,” said Steven G. Miller, the company's chairman, president and CEO. “Our positive sales, combined with continued tight expense management and merchandise margins that were slightly improved over the prior year, have positioned us well to significantly increase third quarter earnings per share compared to the same period last year.”

The company expects to issue third quarter financial results, as well as provide guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, during the first week of November, 2009.