Sporting goods retailer Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. on Monday reported sales results for the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter and full year ended December 30, 2018.
For the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter, net sales were $247.1 million compared to net sales of $242.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Same store sales increased 1.1 percent for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. The company’s merchandise margins decreased approximately 11 basis points for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.
For the fiscal 2018 full year, net sales decreased to $987.6 million from $1.01 billion in fiscal 2017. Same store sales decreased 2.7 percent for the fiscal 2018 full year. The company’s merchandise margins decreased approximately 12 basis points for the fiscal 2018 full year compared to fiscal 2017.
Total merchandise inventories were down approximately 7 percent at year-end versus the prior year, reflecting a significant reduction of winter product inventory as well as the company’s efforts to optimize inventory levels across its product assortment. Fiscal year-end debt levels decreased by approximately $19 million from the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2018 to $65 million as of December 30, 2018.
For the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter, the company now expects to realize a loss per share in the range of (15) cents to (17) cents, which compares to the company’s previous guidance for the fourth quarter of a loss per share in the range of (15) cents to (25) cents.
For the fiscal 2018 full year, the Company now expects to realize a loss per share in the range of (8) cents to (10) cents. Earnings guidance for the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter and full year is unaudited and excludes charges to be determined related to a deferred tax valuation allowance for certain income tax credits and potential asset impairment.
“After same store sales decreased in the low-single-digit range in October and November, same store sales increased in the mid-single-digit range during our December period,” said Steven G. Miller, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “Sales benefited from exceptionally strong demand for winter products following Christmas as winter weather conditions in many of our markets were highly favorable. For the quarter, same store sales in our apparel category increased in the high-single-digit range, same store sales in our footwear category were slightly positive and same store sales in our hardgoods category decreased in the low-single-digit range. We achieved small increases in both customer transactions and average sale during the quarter.”
Miller continued, “We are pleased that the positive weather comparisons and resulting momentum in our winter product categories have continued into January, providing a strong sales start to our new year and allowing us to sell through our winter inventory at favorable margins.”
The company expects to issue earnings results for the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter and full year by the end of February.