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Outdoor financials: Dick's Sporting Goods shares hit 52-week low on Q1, plus Under Armour, Columbia Sportswear

Dick's Sporting Goods shares hit a 52-week low on Q1, Under Armour shares fell on a downgrade, and Columbia Sportswear said its exiting COO would receive $500,000 in severance.

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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.

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.

Exiting Columbia Sportswear COO to receive $500,000 severance

Columbia Sportswear (NYSE: COLM) will pay nearly $500,000 in severance to its former chief operating officer, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The company entered into the severance agreement with Patrick D. Anderson, its former vice president and COO who resigned from the company in March. The company appointed Bryan L. Timm as chief operating officer and interim chief financial officer, while Thomas B. Cusick was named chief accounting officer, according to the filing.

Anderson will receive $495,086 paid in bi-weekly installments over 16 months, as well as other benefits, according to the filing. The agreement will cease if Anderson accepts paid employment or agrees to provide services to another company within 120 days of April 30, the date his employment termination became effective.

Anderson was the highest-level executive to leave Columbia since two vice presidents resigned in fall 2006.

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