Nation & World

Dick's Sporting Goods' stocks jump, despite gun decision

CEO says 'a number of people' have begun shopping his stores

The Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Broomfield, Colorado is seen November 18, 2014. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc are set to release their Q3 2014 earnings November 18, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Broomfield, Colorado is seen November 18, 2014. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc are set to release their Q3 2014 earnings November 18, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ stock spiked as much as 28 percent — the most ever — after the sports retailer impressed investors with higher profit guidance, outweighing uncertainty over the loss of gun sales.

Revenue beat expectations, despite the company’s move to end sales of assault-style rifles in February after a shooting at a Florida high school.

CEO Ed Stack since has met with elected officials, spoken publicly about the need to increase regulations and hired a lobbying firm to push Congress.

While the changes accelerated the declines at the retailers’ already weak hunting business, the CEO said it had the advantage of drawing in new customers as well.

Coupled with stronger private-label sales and fewer promotions, management had the confidence to raise the annual profit forecast to $3.12 a share, up from $3.

“There has been a number of people who have started shopping us because of the policy,” Stack said on a call with analysts. “There definitely has been some benefit.”

While the retailer’s first-quarter same-store sales fell 0.9 percent, its third straight decline, the drop wasn’t as steep as Wall Street expected and helped the company surpass projections on profit, too.

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“The backlash from the change in firearms policies was clearly limited,” said Chen Grazutis, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. “The hunting category has already been under pressure for a while, so expectations were already pointing to a decline.”

Dick’s expects its own brands to hit $2 billion in sales in the not-too-distant future. Calia, its women’s athletic apparel line that debuted three years ago, has already surpassed Under Armour in that category and is now only second to Nike.

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