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Hibbett Guides FY20 Adj EPS Above View; Announces Accelerated Store Closure Plan

While reporting financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2019 on Friday, Hibbett Sports Inc. (HIBB) reported comparable store sales for the fourth quarter increased 3.8 percent.

The company also provided guidance for the full-year 2020. It now projects earnings for fiscal 2020 in a range of $1.50 to $1.70 per share, which includes $0.25 to $0.35 per share for non-recurring costs associated with the integration of City Gear, and costs associated with store closures.

Excluding non-recurring costs, adjusted earnings are expected to be in the range of $1.80 to $2.00 per share.

Comparable store sales are projected between a decline of 1.0 percent and a growth of 1.0 percent.
The company also projects about 10 to 15 new store openings with about 95 store closures during the year.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $1.75 per share for fiscal year 2020. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Additionally, the company also announced a strategic realignment and accelerated store closure plan. As the retail environment continues to evolve, the company is focused on improving the productivity of the store base while continuing to grow its omni-channel business to serve customers where and when they want to shop.

As a result, subsequent to the year ended February 2, 2019, the company has decided to close approximately 95 Hibbett stores in fiscal 2020, while opening 10 to 15 new Hibbett and City Gear stores.

This is expected to result in non-recurring impairment and store closure charges in the range of $0.15 to $0.20 per share in Fiscal 2020.

For the past year, Hibbett acquired 136 City Gear stores, opened 32 new stores, expanded or relocated 10 stores and closed 84 underperforming stores.

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