Hibbett Sports, Inc. reported net sales increased 17.0% to $184.5 million for the 13-week period ended May 1, compared with $157.7 million for the prior-year quarter. Comparable store sales increased 14.5% for the period. Net income for the first quarter increased 58.9% to $17.3 million, or 59 cents per dliuted share, compared with $10.9 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, for the year-ago quarter.

Operating income was 15.0% of net sales for the first quarter of Fiscal 2011 compared with 11.1% of net sales for the first quarter of Fiscal 2010.

Jeff Rosenthal, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “The strong sales trend we experienced in the fourth quarter of last year continued throughout the first quarter of this year and into the second quarter. Our overall positive sales performance was driven by double-digit increases in footwear and apparel. The broad-based improvement and exceptional operating margin give us confidence in our optimistic outlook for the remainder of the year.”

In the first quarter, Hibbett opened 2 new stores and closed 2 stores, leaving the store base at 767 in 24 states as of May 1, 2010. For Fiscal 2011, the company expects to open approximately 30 new stores and expand approximately 20 high performing locations. In its efforts to increase operating margins, Hibbett intends to close 10 to 15 underperforming stores, which is permitted by the terms of the leases for these stores.

Hibbett ended the first quarter of Fiscal 2011 with $71.4 million of available cash and cash equivalents on the consolidated balance sheet, no bank debt and full availability under its $80 million unsecured credit facilities. The company ended Fiscal 2010 with $49.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and no bank debt.

Fiscal 2011 Outlook
Hibbett increased its earnings guidance for the current fiscal year to a range of $1.35 to $1.50 per diluted share based on mid- to high-single-digit increases in comparable store sales for the full year.

Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
Thirteen Weeks Ended
May 1, May 2,
2010 2009
Net sales $ 184,506 $ 157,700
Cost of goods sold, distribution center
and store occupancy costs   118,397   105,004
Gross profit 66,109 52,696
Store operating, selling and administrative
expenses 34,941 31,873
Depreciation and amortization   3,492   3,265
Operating income 27,676 17,558
Interest expense, net   6   2
Income before provision for income taxes 27,670 17,556
Provision for income taxes   10,329   6,644
Net income $ 17,341 $ 10,912
Net income per common share:
Basic $ 0.60 $ 0.38
Diluted $ 0.59 $ 0.38