U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 55 mins

Cabela's gets 4Q boost from firearm sales

SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) -- Cabela's Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 3 percent, pulled down by hefty impairment charges and a reduction in revenue stemming from an antitrust settlement. But the sporting goods retailer's adjusted results easily beat Wall Street predictions, helped by a late-quarter surge in demand for firearms and ammunition.

For the quarter ended Dec. 29, Cabela's earned $68 million, or 95 cents per share, down from $69.8 million, or 99 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Revenue increased 14 percent to $1.12 billion from $983.7 million.

The recent quarter's results included $20.3 million in impairment charges mainly related to land held for sale and a $12.5 million revenue reduction related to the Visa antitrust settlement. Excluding those items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of $1.25 per share and its revenue totaled $1.13 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.21 per share on $1.06 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Consumer demand for firearms has surged in recent months on worries about the possibilities of increased regulation or bans of certain kinds of weapons in the wake of the December slayings of 20 first-graders and six adult staffers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The Sidney, Neb.-based company said its revenue at stores open at least a year increased 12 percent during the quarter. But if sales of firearms and ammunition had been followed more normal trends, revenue at stores open at least a year would have risen about 5 percent, the company said.

The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue from stores that recently opened or closed.

For the full year 2012, Cabela's earned $173.5 million, or $2.42 per share, up from $142.6 million, or $2 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $3.11 billion from $2.81 billion.

Shares of Cabela's fell $2.92, or 5.7 percent, to $47.84 in afternoon trading. The stock has risen about 70 percent in the past year.