Hibbett Sports, Inc. reported sales increased 3.6% in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, to $147.9 million from $142.8 million. Comps decreased 2.8%. Earnings were flat at $7.6 million, or 26 cents a share, against $7.6 million,  or 25 cents, a year ago.

Net sales for the 52-week fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, increased 8.4% to $564.2 million compared with $520.7 million for the 52-week fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 2008. Comparable store sales increased 0.5% in Fiscal 2009. Net income in Fiscal 2009, was $29.4 million compared with $30.3 million in Fiscal 2008. Earnings per diluted share for Fiscal 2009 were $1.02 compared with 96 cents in Fiscal 2008.

Mickey Newsome, chairman and CEO, stated, “Considering the extremely challenging retail environment, we are pleased with our performance. We finished the fiscal year with positive comparable store sales, improved inventory position and improved gross profit. We also delivered a six percent growth in diluted earnings per share and a very strong balance sheet with no debt and more than $20 million in cash and cash equivalents. In uncertain times such as these, Hibbett Sports benefits from our low cost operating culture, excellent relationship with our vendors, small market focus and continued investments in systems.”

For the quarter, Hibbett opened 21 new stores and closed 2 stores. For the year, Hibbett opened 69 new stores and closed 12 stores, bringing the store base to 745 in 24 states as of Jan. 31, 2009. For Fiscal 2010, the company plans to open 65 to 70 new stores and close 20 to 25 stores.


Hibbett ended the fiscal year with $20.7 million of available cash and cash equivalents on the consolidated balance sheet, no debt and full availability under its $80 million unsecured credit facilities, which expire in August and December 2009. The company expects to remain debt free in Fiscal 2010 with all of its capital expenditure needs covered by cash flows from operations.

Fiscal 2010 Outlook

For the fiscal year ending Jan. 30, 2010, the company expects to report a range of $1.03 to $1.17 per diluted share for earnings with comparable store sales in the low single digits.