UPDATE 2-Cabela's profit beats estimates, forecast worries

Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:33am EDT

* Q3 EPS $0.28; Street view $0.18

* Raises full-year sales, profit forecasts

* Holiday quarter raises analyst concern

* Shares down 1 pct (Adds revenue, forecast, analyst comment, byline)

By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Cabela's Inc (CAB.N), an outdoor gear retailer, posted better-than-expected quarterly profit, but forecast earnings that would include a weaker holiday quarter than analysts expected, sending its shares down 1 percent.

Cabela's sells equipment and apparel for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing through its stores, a catalog and on the Web.

The company's revenue has gotten a boost from firearm sales in recent quarters. It has also been cutting inventory, reworking how it staffs stores and seeking other ways to trim costs.

But gun sale comparisons will get tougher and the company also has a tougher holiday season comparison than some others as it was driving traffic in 2008 while other retailers were hit hard by the recession, J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers said in a research note.

The company said it now expects full-year earnings to increase at least at a mid-single digit rate, compared with its previous forecast for flat earnings.

But Horvers noted this implies earnings of 71 cents a share in the holiday quarter, below the average analyst estimate of 76 cents.

Net income in the third quarter ended Sept. 26 was $18.8 million, or 28 cents per share, up from $9.7 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had expected 18 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $624.3 million, slightly ahead of the average analyst forecast of $623.4 million. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.5 percent.

Cabela's said it now expects overall sales and same-store sales to rise in the mid-single digits this year, compared with its previous guidance of a low-single-digit increase.

The company said it will need to provide an additional $200 million to its financial services unit in the first quarter of 2010. But it said it has generated excess cash in 2009 to meet that need.

Cabela's shares were down 15 cents at $14.45, after rising as high as $16 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Brad Dorfman; editing by John Wallace, Dave Zimmerman)

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