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Lucky number: Hibbett Sports reports 13th straight quarter of higher same-store sales

Perhaps Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq:HIBB) has a bit of the ‘luck of the Irish’ this St. Patrick’s Day week. On Friday, it reported its 13th consecutive quarter of higher same-store sales — something none of its outdoor, fitness and sporting goods peers can claim after last year’s warm winter and this year’s slow start to the season.


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Perhaps Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq:HIBB) has a bit of the ‘luck of the Irish’ this St. Patrick’s Day week.

On Friday, it reported it’s 13th consecutive quarter of higher same-store sales — something none of its outdoor, fitness and sporting goods peers can claim after last year’s warm winter and this year’s slow start to the season.

Hibbett has warded off all the bad juju to keep plowing ahead, reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter same-store sales up 4.9 percent, through Feb. 2, 2013. Disclaimer: It did get some fortune this time around with an extra week in the quarter, compared to a year ago.

Total quarterly sales, including 27 store openings, four expansions and two closings, rose 14 percent to $217.4 million. Quarterly net income improved to $19.4 million, up from $15.8 million a year ago.

For its full fiscal year, Hibbett recorded its same-store sales up 6.9 percent, and total sales rose 11.8 percent to $818.7 million. Yearly net income came in at $ 72.6 million, versus $59.1 million.

Hibbett has consistently out-performed its peers — Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5 and Sport Chalet — these past two years thanks to its focus on more endurance and warm-weather related apparel, footwear and gear. That’s in part due to its geographic concentration of stores — 873 locations — mostly in the Southeast.

The question is: Will Hibbett’s luck run out next quarter? With winter weather finally returning in force in February and hanging around late into March, the recent cold temperatures and snow could nibble into Hibbett’s predominant spring/summer lineup.

For now, investors are betting the lucky streak will continue. They sent they stock up more than 6 percent by mid-day Friday following the earnings release.

–David Clucas