The Dick company's shares decreased about 20% in premarket trading

August 24, 2023: Dick’s Sporting Goods reported a decrease in profits and slashed its earnings guidance for the year after it saw an uptick in retail theft and slow sales in its outdoor category, the company announced on Tuesday.

For the first time in three years, Dick’s decreased short of Wall Street’s estimates on the top and bottom lines. It also reported cuts to its global head count. The company’s shares decreased about 20% in premarket trading.

The company’s stated net income for the three-month period that ended July 29 was $244 million, or $2.82 per share, compared with $318.5 million, or $3.25 per share, a year earlier.

Sales increased to $3.22 billion from $3.11 billion a year earlier.

The company lowered its profit forecast for the year partly because it expects to shrink, a retail industry term that refers to inventory lost by theft or internal issues, to worsen before it gets better.

“Our Q2 profitability was short of our expectations due largely to the impact of elevated inventory shrink, an increasingly serious issue impacting many retailers,” CEO Lauren Hobart said in a news release. “Despite moderating our 2023 EPS outlook, our enthusiasm for our business and our confidence in our long-term growth opportunities have never been stronger.”

Dicks now expects earnings of $11.33 to $12.13 per share for the year, compared to a previously issued guidance of $12.90 to $13.80. It reaffirmed its comparable store sales forecast of flat to up 2% and isn’t cutting its planned capital expenditures. Despite the profit loss during the quarter, the retailer still expects gross margins to increase for the entire year compared to 2022.

According to FactSet, the reference to shrink is the first that Dick’s has made in an earnings call or press release in nearly 20 years. Like other retailers that reported earnings last quarter, the reference comes when Dick’s profits are under pressure from numerous sources, including a slowdown in its outdoor category, including hard goods like camping equipment.

During the quarter, Dick’s used promotions to offload inventory from the category. Overall, stocks were down about 5% in the quarter compared to the year-ago period.

Dick’s margins fell to 34% compared with 36% in the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting a gross margin of 36%, according to StreetAccount.

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