Dick’s boosts annual forecast despite slumping golf sales

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. shares jumped as much as 10 percent in early trading Tuesday after the retailed boosted its annual forecast, a sign that the chain will benefit from the demise of rival Sports Authority Inc.

Dick's operates three sporting goods stores in Indianapolis as well as stores in Avon, Carmel, Greenwood, Plainfield and Noblesville. The company also operates a Golf Galaxy store in Castleton.

Dick's now expects earnings of $2.90 to $3.05 a share, compared with a forecast of as much as $2.90 in May. Same-store sales—a closely watched measure—will gain 2 percent to 3 percent, Dick’s said in a written statement Tuesday. It had previously said that the sales might decline 1 percent.

The rosier guidance follows second-quarter results that handily beat analysts’ estimates.

Dick’s, the largest sporting-goods chain in the U.S. with more than 600 stores, is trying to navigate the liquidation of what was once its biggest competitor, Sports Authority.

Though the bankruptcy has pushed heavily discounted merchandise into the marketplace, Dick’s expects to benefit from increased share on the industry. It’s also turning some former Sports Authority locations into Dick’s stores.

Sports Authority Inc. operated more than 450 stores nationally, but none in Indianapolis. The nearest location was in Merrillville.

“We are pleased with our second-quarter results, particularly in light of the liquidation activity,” CEO Edward Stack said in the statement. “Looking ahead, we are focused on capturing the displaced market share and remain confident in our ability to strengthen our leadership position.”

Dick’s shares rose as high as $60.40 each Tuesday, the biggest intraday increase since May 19. That follows a 55 percent gain this year through Monday’s close.

One weak spot for Dick’s was golf: Same-store sales at its Golf Galaxy chain declined 4.3 percent last quarter. Analysts had predicted a 1.5 percent drop.

The golf industry is trying to pull out of a slump, caused in part by fewer younger players sticking with the sport. The Golfsmith International chain is considering filing for bankruptcy as it seeks a new owner, people with knowledge of the situation said earlier this month.

Dick’s said on Tuesday that it’s committed to golf, which remains profitable for the company.

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