Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. cut its second-quarter earnings guidance as it posted a surprise 0.5% drop in same-store sales. The regional sporting-goods retailer now expects earnings of 20 cents to 23 cents a share, compared with May's view of 24 cents to 30 cents.

It had expected same-store sales to rise by the low-single digits on a percentage basis in the quarter. Big 5's same store sales increased 0.3% during the second quarter of fiscal 2009 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2008. 

In the year-ago quarter, it earned 22 cents a share.

“Our top-line results were slightly softer than we expected, which we attribute largely to the sluggish pace of the economic recovery across much of our geography as well as a lack of warm weather in many of our west coast markets,” said Steven G. Miller, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “All three of our major merchandise categories — footwear, hardgoods and apparel — performed within a relatively tight range of one another.  Although we comped positively in April and June and experienced encouraging sales trends over the recent Fourth of July holiday period, those sales were not enough to offset a challenging month of May that was impacted by lackluster sales of summer-related products.”

Miller continued, “We continue to perform well on the operational side of our business, as we maintained product margins for the quarter, and remain pleased with our inventory management and expense control efforts.  While the economic environment in our markets is not ideal, we remain confident in our overall strategy and believe our focus on providing compelling values to our customers will continue to serve our business well.”

Store Openings

During the second quarter, the company opened two new stores, including one which is intended to replace an existing store that is expected to close at a later date.  The company ended the fiscal 2010 second quarter with 388 stores, and continues to anticipate opening between 10 and 15 new stores, net of relocations, during fiscal 2010.