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Dick's Sporting expects strict gun sales policy to weigh

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General View of Dick's Sporting Goods store in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

A general view of Dick's Sporting Goods store in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

(Reuters) - Dick's Sporting Goods Inc <DKS.N>, a U.S. retailer of camping supplies, sporting goods and guns, on Tuesday warned that its decision to tighten gun sales could weigh on 2018 results.

Shares of the company, which missed fourth-quarter revenue estimates, were down nearly 5 percent at $31.

Dick's Sporting said last month it would not sell guns to people under age 21 and would stop selling assault rifles and high-capacity magazines following the massacre at a Florida high school.

The company said it expected 2018 consolidated same-store sales to be flat to decline a low single-digit percentage, including the impact of the recent firearm policy changes.

Analysts were expecting same-store sales to grow 0.15 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"It's only been two weeks, and we've seen a bit of a difference in the hunt business, not an awful lot, but it's too early to tell how this is going to be impacted," Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack said on a post-earnings call with analysts.

The company forecast 2018 profit in the range of about $2.80 to $3 per share, while analysts were expecting $2.80.

Telsey analyst Joseph Feldman said he expected sales in other categories such as golf, athletic wear to make up for sales lost in the hunting gear business, pegging the latter's share in total sales at about 10 percent.

The retailer's fourth-quarter net sales rose 7.2 percent to $2.66 billion, but missed estimate of $2.74 billion.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)