May 15, 2012 / 12:20 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Warm weather helps Dick's Sporting sales

* Q1 EPS $0.45 vs est $0.38

* Q1 sales $1.3 bln vs est $1.23 bln

* Raises FY12 EPS outlook to $2.45-$2.48 vs est $2.43

* Sees Q2 EPS $0.62-$0.63 vs est $0.63

* Shares up as much as 8 pct

May 15 (Reuters) - Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc reported quarterly results comfortably above analyst estimates, as warm weather helped pull forward s u mmer sales, sending its shares up as much as 8 percent.

The sporting goods retailer’s sales are heavily influenced by the weather. A warm winter and a dry spring encouraged more outdoor activity in the quarter compared to the year-ago period, which was rainy in many regions in the United States.

“People were playing golf earlier this year, they were fishing earlier this year,” Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said on the company’s post-earnings conference call with analysts.

“The kids were out on the field playing lacrosse and baseball earlier this year.”

The Pittsburgh-based company raised its full-year earnings-per-share outlook by about the same amount with which it had topped Wall Street estimates.

Inventory per square foot was 6.6 percent higher at the end of the first quarter of 2012. The company said it expects inventory to be at appropriate levels by the fourth quarter of this year.

At the end of last year, the company said it had a higher inventory due to unsold winter products and planned to get rid of it by discounting and returning merchandise to vendors.

Dick’s Sporting, which operates 486 namesake and 81 Golf Galaxy stores, said limited commercial real estate in the U.S. is hindering the speed of its store expansion.

The company expects to open 40 new Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and relocate 5 stores in 2012. Dick’s opened 6 stores during the first quarter.

It also said that on May 7 it bought its Store Support Center for about $133 million, including settlement costs.

First-quarter earnings per share jumped 50 percent to 45 cents per share, beating estimates of 38 cents a share.

Net sales rose 15 percent to $1.3 billion, with same-store sales -- or those at stores open at least a year -- increasing 8.4 percent. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.23 billion.

Same-store sales at Golf Galaxy stores rose 12.6 percent, while eCommerce sales jumped 33.4 percent

Shares of the company were trading up 6 percent at $50.00 on Tuesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

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