* Sees Q1 EPS $0.36-$0.38 vs est. $0.36
* Sees Q1 comp sales growing 3-4 pct
* Sees FY12 EPS $2.38-$2.41 vs est. $2.40
* Inventory per sq.ft. up 6.2 pct vs fiscal 2010
* Shares rise 4 pct, touch life high
March 6 Dick's Sporting Goods Inc,
the largest publicly traded U.S. sporting goods retailer,
forecast first-quarter profit largely above analysts'
expectations, as online sales and tight inventory management
The company's shares rose 4 percent to their highest ever
level at $47.40 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, but
later shed some gains to trade at $46.20.
Dick's Sporting plans to get rid off some piled-up inventory
by discounting and returning merchandise to vendors. The company
ended the year with higher inventory as some winter merchandise
remained unsold at its stores.
"We believe the margin impact from clearance activity will
be contained within the first quarter," Chief Financial Officer
Timothy Kullman said on a call with analysts.
The company forecast first-quarter profit of 36-38 cents a
share. Analysts were expecting 36 cents a share, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Pittsburgh-based Dick's Sporting sees same-store sales
rising 3-4 percent in the first quarter.
"Opportunities for accelerating square footage growth, and
continued progress in growing the e-commerce business should
continue to drive sales in the short and long term," Citigroup
analyst Kate McShane wrote in a client note.
E-commerce business at Dick's sporting rose about 52 percent
in the fourth quarter.
"Looking forward we believe the setup is in place for Dick's
Sporting to provide potential EPS upside nearly all year with
management taking a conservative tack to guidance," JPMorgan
analyst Christopher Horvers said in a client note.
Dick's Sporting, which sells branded merchandise like
athletic footwear and apparel under brands such as Nike Inc
, Adidas AG and Under Armour Inc,
reported fourth-quarter results in line with analysts'
The stock has gained more than a quarter in value since it
trimmed the top end of its fourth-quarter earnings outlook in
January, at a time when the market expected worse due to a
Dick's Sporting, which operates 480 namesake and 81 Golf
Galaxy stores, also plans to open about 40 new stores this year
and is targeting opening half of these in new markets.