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DICK'S Sporting Widens Footing in North Carolina & Kentucky

Zacks Equity Research

DICK'S Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS), in keeping with its aggressive store expansion strategy, is set to unveil one store each in North Carolina and Kentucky. The new North Carolina store will be located at Mayfaire Town Center in Wilmington, while the Kentucky one will be situated at Parkside in Frankfort.

The opening of these stores will mark DICK'S Sporting’s 31st outlet in North Carolina and 11th outlet in Kentucky, while increasing the company’s overall store count in the country to 578. The celebrations to mark the opening of these stores will commence from Sep 5 and extend over the weekend. Also, the stores will remain open for longer hours over the same time frame.

The store offerings will include Nike (NKE) and Under Armour (UA) shops, athletic and outdoor apparel and footwear and the latest gear for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting and fishing. Additionally, the stores will feature over 40 in-store services provided by DICK'S Sporting’s certified PROS in sports and outdoor specialties including, Bike, Golf and Fishing.

Moreover, in order to enhance footfall at its new stores during the celebration, DICK’S Sporting announced a range of lucrative giveaways. The company will distribute free Reebok Play Dry T-Shirts to the first 100 people in queue on the opening day.  Also, customers who reach early will get an opportunity to open the DICK'S Sporting Goods Gift Locker, on all three days. Further, on Saturday and Sunday, it plans to give free Mystery Gift Cards worth $5–$500 to the first 100 adults in line.

Apart from these alluring offers, the company has planned an attraction for its new Mayfaire Town Center store with hourly fishing shows on all three days with its 4,000 gallon bass tank on hand. An attraction is also planned for its Parkside, Frankfort store with Los Angeles Lakers player and University of Kentucky alumni Julius Randle making an appearance at the store on Sunday.

We believe that DICK’S Sporting’s strategic measures of consolidating its store base and the use of technology to provide better services are likely to strengthen its relationship with the present customers along with attracting new ones. These initiatives are expected to effectively promote its products. We presume that the company will also benefit from its in-store action and online growth plans.

DICK’S Sporting currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s second-quarter fiscal 2014 earnings showed signs of recovery with successful implementation of its restructuring initiatives, after starting fiscal 2014 on a soft note.

The company’s adjusted earnings of 67 cents per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 met the upper-end of its guidance range of 62 to 67 cents and at the same time surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents. Earlier in the first quarter, the company’s adjusted earnings of 50 cents per share not only missed its own guidance range of 51–52 cents but also came below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents.

However, due to lower merchandise margin along with higher shipping and operating expenses, quarterly adjusted earnings witnessed a year-over-year decline of 5.6%.

Following the second-quarter results, the company remains cautious about its fiscal 2014 performance. For fiscal 2014, management anticipates earnings per share to be between $2.70 and $2.85 with comps projected to grow in the range of 1%–3%. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $2.77 per share.

Other Stocks to Consider

A better-ranked stock in the same industry is Jumei International Holding Limited (JMEI), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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