Fitness financials: Hibbett Sports Q1 profit falls, plus Dick's, Stride Rite, Brunswick, Crocs, Amer Sports, Foot Locker - SNEWS

Fitness financials: Hibbett Sports Q1 profit falls, plus Dick's, Stride Rite, Brunswick, Crocs, Amer Sports, Foot Locker

Hibbett Sports Q1 profit falls, Dick's 1Q profit gets boost from acquisition, Payless to acquire Stride Rite for $800 million, Brunswick VP exercises options, Crocs' CEO sells more than 150,000 shares, Amer Sports exercises 2002 warrants, and Foot Locker's Q1 profit plummets 72 percent.
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Hibbett Sports Q1 profit falls
Hit by difficult sales in April and weakness in some of its mall stores, first-quarter profit for Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) dropped 11 percent.

Quarterly earnings dropped to $10.2 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to net income of $11.5 million, or $0.35 per share, in the prior-year period. Sales rose to $133.8 million from $126.9 million. Hibbett said same-store sales rose 0.7 percent during the quarter.

Chairman and CEO Mickey Newsome said in a statement that the company performed well through the first nine weeks of the quarter, but conditions soured in April. Newsome also said some weakness in Hibbett's urban enclosed mall stores offset good demand for its technical apparel, youth products and team sports equipment.

The company opened nine new stores in the quarter and closed two locations.

It added that it expects second-quarter earnings per share of 20 cents to 24 cents, while reaffirming its full-year profit forecast for $1.30 to $1.35 earnings per share.

Dick's 1Q profit gets boost from acquisition
Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) said its fiscal first-quarter earnings jumped 90 percent, boosted by higher same-store sales and the consolidation of the recently acquired Golf Galaxy. The latest period includes results from Golf Galaxy, which Dick's acquired on Feb. 13.

Net income in the period ended May 5 rose to $21.7 million, or $0.38 per share, from $11.4 million, or $0.21 per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales added 28 percent to $823.6 million. Same-store sales rose 2 percent. The company said the spring sports season was delayed by weather in certain regions.

In the first quarter, the company opened 15 Dick's Sporting Goods stores and 10 Golf Galaxy stores.

Dick's reiterated its full-year earnings outlook and expects to earn between $2.37 and $2.40 per share in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31. The forecast assumes a 1 percent to 2 percent rise in same-store sales. For the second quarter, Dick's forecast earnings between $0.74 and $0.77 per share with same-store sales up 3 percent to 5 percent.

Payless to acquire Stride Rite for $800 million

Payless ShoeSource (NYSE: PSS) said it has agreed to acquire Stride Rite Corp. (NYSE: SRR), parent of Saucony and Hind, for about $800 million plus the assumption of debt.

The all-cash offer is valued at $20.50 per share, which represents a 33 percent premium over Stride Rite's closing price on May 22 of $15.45. The sale price is also higher than the 52-week peak of $18. The transaction is expected to close in the third fiscal quarter of 2007.

"This transaction is squarely on strategy and driven by its strong growth potential," Matt Rubel, Payless' CEO, said in a statement.

When the deal closes, Payless ShoeSource said it will rename the company Collective Brands Inc. This holding company will operate three stand-alone business units: Payless stores, Stride Rite and Collective Licensing International, which Payless acquired in March. Each of the individual operating units will retain their own names and operations.

Collective Brands will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and will be based in Topeka, Kan., along with Payless ShoeSource. Stride Rite's headquarters will remain in Lexington, Mass., and Collective Licensing will stay in Denver.

In May 23's trading, Stride Rite rose $4.76, or 31 percent, to $20.21, topping a 52-week high of $18. Payless, which jumped $2.90, or 9.1 percent, to $34.80, has traded at a 52-week range of $20.81 to $35.36.

Brunswick VP exercises options

A vice president of Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC), parent of Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and Parabody, exercised options for 5,000 shares of common stock, according to a SEC filing.

In a Form 4 filed with the SEC, John Stransky reported he exercised options for 5,000 shares on May 18 for $32.19 and then sold them the same day for $34.23 to $34.24 apiece. Insiders file Form 4s with the SEC to report transactions in their companies' shares. Open market purchases and sales must be reported within two business days of the transaction.

Crocs' CEO sells more than 150,000 shares
After selling off thousands of shares in previous weeks, various Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) directors were once again telling the SEC that they had sold more shares of company stock. Insiders file Form 4s with the SEC to report transactions in their companies' shares. Open market purchases and sales must be reported within two business days of the transaction.

Sellers include:
>> Michael E. Marks sold 100,000 shares of common stock on May 18 for $76 to $76.35 apiece.
>> CEO Ronald R. Snyder sold 133,334 shares on May 17 for $76.26 to $76.70 apiece. He sold an additional 125,000 shares on May 22 for $77.51 to $78.06 apiece.
>> Raymond D. Croghan sold 5,000 shares of common stock under a prearranged trading plan on May 22 for $77.36 to $77.60 apiece. The stock sale was conducted under a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan which allows company insiders to set up a program in advance for such transactions and proceed even if they come into possession of material nonpublic information.

Amer Sports exercises 2002 warrants
A total of 6,690 Amer Sports' shares have been subscribed for as a result of an exercise of its 2002 warrants. The corresponding increase in the company's share capital amounting to EUR 26,760 (USD $36,000) was registered on May 22. As a result of this increase, Amer Sports' share capital now totals EUR 288.3 million (USD $387.90 million) and the total number of shares in issue is over 72 million. The new shares were listed on the Helsinki Exchanges on May 23. The subscription period of Amer Sport's 2002 warrant scheme will end on Dec. 31, 2007.

Foot Locker's Q1 profit plummets 72 percent
Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) first-quarter profit fell 72 percent from the year-ago period, saying weak sales in U.S. stores were at fault.

Net income for the quarter was $17 million, or $0.11 per share, down from $59 million, or $0.38 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter was $1.32 billion, down from $1.37 billion in the 2006 quarter. Same-store sales fell 5.1 percent.

The company cut its full-year earnings forecast to $1.15 to $1.25 per share. In March, the company projected full-year earnings of $1.55 to $1.65 per share. Foot Locker forecast second-quarter earnings of $0.15 to $0.20 per share.

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