Outdoor financials: Big 5’s Q4 sales up 8 percent, plus Under Armour

Big 5's Q4 sales rose more than 8 percent on strong sales of shoes and other athletic gear, while an analyst upgraded Under Armour's rating and increased its price target.

Big 5’s Q4 sales up 8 percent

Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV) said its fourth-quarter sales climbed more than 8 percent as consumers bought shoes and other athletic gear, but sales of winter clothing were hurt by weather conditions in the West, where Big 5 operates.

For the period ended Jan. 3, sales totaled $237.6 million, up from $219.6 million during the same period last year. Same-store sales increased 0.1 percent.

For the full year, sales rose 3.6 percent to $895.5 million from $864.7 million. Same-store sales slipped 0.6 percent.

For the full year, Big 5 said it expects to earn between $1 per share and $1.02 per share, including a $0.03 one-time item.

The company narrowed its fourth-quarter profit guidance to between $0.28 and $0.30 per share, which is less optimistic than the $0.28 to $0.38 the company projected in November. Its outlook includes special items that account for about $0.03 cents per share.

Big 5 said it would formally report fourth-quarter results by early March.

Analyst upgrades Under Armour’s rating, price target

A Citi Investment Research analyst upgraded Under Armour's rating and increased its price target, saying the company’s leaner inventory and a strong brand name will likely help it remain resilient during difficult economic conditions.

Kate McShane raised Under Armour's rating to "hold" from "sell" and increased its price target to $31 from $24. She wrote in a client note that the company is operating with less inventory these days, allowing it to hold off on deep discounts, and customers have remained loyal to the brand during the recession.

The company also stands to gain from easier year-over-year comparisons in the fourth quarter, according to McShane.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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