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Fitness financials: Dick's Sporting Goods shares hit 52-week low on Q1, plus Hibbett, Under Armour, Life Time Fitness, Foot Locker, Health Fitness

Dick's Sporting Goods shares hit a 52-week low on Q1, Hibbett Sports' Q1 profit dropped slightly, Under Armour shares fell on a downgrade, an analyst said Life Time Fitness' membership may be on rise, Foot Locker's Q1 profit fell 82 percent, and Health Fitness wrapped up a share repurchase plan.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods shares hit 52-week low on Q1

Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) said its fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 4 percent, as declining sales at established stores overshadowed gains from newly opened ones.

For the quarter ended May 3, the company earned $20.8 million, or $0.18 per share, compared with $21.7 million, or $0.19 per share, in the year-ago quarter. The most recent quarter included a pretax gain of $2.4 million, or $0.01 per share, on the sale of a corporate aircraft.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $912.1 million from $823.6 million a year earlier on rising sales from newly opened stores. The company opened eight Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and four Golf Galaxy stores during the quarter.

Dick’s same-store sales fell 3.8 percent in the first quarter.

For the full-year ending in January 2009, the company said it now expects to earn between $1.22 and $1.36 per share, compared with a previous expectation of $1.49 to $1.54 per share. The company earned $1.33 per share in the 2007 fiscal year.

Same-store sales at Dick’s locations are expected to fall about 3 percent to 5 percent compared with the prior year, the company said.

The company’s prediction does not include Golf Galaxy or Chick’s Sporting Goods locations. Dick’s bought the companies last year.

For the second quarter, the company expects to earn $0.34 to $0.38 per share. Same-store sales, including Golf Galaxy and Chick’s Sporting Goods locations, are expected to drop by 4 percent to 7 percent in the quarter.

“We are being cautious about our outlook for the remainder of the year, due to the overall uncertainty of the current economic environment,” President and CEO Edward W. Stack said in a statement. “We will constantly monitor business trends and are positioned to take appropriate actions should the economic environment change.”

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Vivian Ma downgraded the stock on the weak results. “We believe areas experiencing difficulty include big-ticket items such as fitness equipment, where we have seen increased promotions in recent weeks,” she wrote in a note to investors. She downgraded the company to “Perform” from “Outperform” and removed her $31 price target on the stock.

Shares of Dick’s hit a 52-week low on May 22. Shares fell $4.29, or 16.2 percent, to $22.25, after earlier trading to a 52-week low of $21.03. The stock has traded between $23.81 and $36.77 during the past 52 weeks.

Hibbett Sports Q1 profit drops slightly

Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) said its first-quarter profit slipped as higher costs outpaced a 9 percent sales increase.

Earnings were down 8 percent to $9.4 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to $10.2 million, or $0.32 per share, last year. Hibbett had about 10 percent fewer shares outstanding during the most recent period.

Revenue rose to $145.8 million from $133.8 million. Same-store sales edged 0.1 percent higher.

“Strong sales in April led to a slight increase in comparable store sales for the quarter. Footwear and apparel were both positive, driven by solid performances in all youth categories,” Chairman and CEO Mickey Newsome said in a statement. “Although we remain cautious given the current economic climate, we are pleased to report that the second quarter is currently experiencing mid single digit (comparable) store sales gains.”

Hibbett reiterated its fiscal year earnings outlook, saying it continues to expect a profit of $0.88 to $1 per share, with same-store sales flat to down 3 percent.

Under Armour shares fall on downgrade

Shares of Under Armour (NYSE: UA) fell on May 22, after an analyst said the weak sporting-goods environment could make it difficult for the company to reach its guidance and downgraded the stock.

Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Jim Duffy wrote in a client note that there is “persistent weakness” in the sporting goods sector. Consumers are cutting down on discretionary spending — particularly on big-ticket items such as sporting equipment — amid rising food and gas prices, a tightening credit market and slumping housing market.

Duffy added that 2008 is important for Under Armour in terms of investing in future growth. “We believe it is important for the company to continue to invest in both building the infrastructure to support this growth and building the brand to support new platform product initiatives such as footwear,” Duffy wrote.

Duffy downgraded the company to “Market Weight” from “Overweight” and lowered his 2008 estimates with the belief that the company will continue to focus on investment rather than controlling expenses.

“While we remain compelled by the strength of the Under Armour brand and the long-term growth opportunities, we are challenged to recommend the stock at this juncture,” he wrote.

Shares fell $3.13, or 8.5 percent, to close at $33.67. The stock has traded between $25.32 to $73.40.

Analyst says Life Time Fitness membership may be on rise

A UBS analyst said that Life Time Fitness (NYSE: LTM) might be experiencing stabilizing or improved membership growth despite challenging economic conditions.

Analyst Brian Nagel wrote in a client note that the company has curbed promotional activity over the past few weeks, which could signal better membership levels.

“We expect membership growth at Life Time Fitness to improve in the second half of the year as efforts to work down memberships at over-capacity facilities cease and Life Time Fitness begins to expand membership levels at its acquired facilities,” Nagel wrote in a client note.

The analyst reiterated a “Buy” rating and $70 price target, suggesting growth of 88 percent over its closing price on May 21 of $37.17.

Foot Locker Q1 profit falls 82 percent

Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) said fiscal first-quarter profit fell, hurt by an impairment charge and nearly flat sales.

Profit for the quarter ended May 3 fell 82 percent to $3 million, or $0.02 per share, compared with $17 million, or $0.11 per share a year ago. Excluding store closing expenses of $0.02 per share and an impairment charge of $0.10 per share, net income was $0.14 per share.

Sales were nearly flat at $1.31 billion.

The company said the impairment charge is related to a note receivable due from the purchaser of the company’s former Northern Group operation in Canada, which the company sold in 2001.

Foot Locker reiterated its fiscal 2008 earnings projection of $0.65 to $0.85 per share, excluding the impairment charge.

Health Fitness wraps up share repurchase plan

Health Fitness Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: HFIT), a provider of integrated employee health and productivity management solutions, said it has completed its previously announced share repurchase plan.

Under the plan, the company repurchased 1.14 million shares of its common stock on the open market, which were funded by the company’s available working capital.

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