Hibbett Sports (HIBB) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Hibbett lagged the industry in the past month due to dismal first-quarter fiscal 2019 results and strained margins trend. Both earnings and sales missed estimates in the fiscal first-quarter while the top line also declined year over year. Earnings were hurt by soft margins and higher SG&A expenses, whereas sales dropped due to soft comps. Moreover, the company’s soft margins trend continued in the first quarter. Gross margin were hurt by higher sales of clearance merchandise and freight related with e-commerce sales, while higher SG&A expenses took a toll on operating margin. The company expects easier gross margin comparisons in the second quarter due to the week shift caused by the 53rd week last year. However, the shift is likely to impact gross margins in the third quarter. Nonetheless, Hibbett remains positioned to gain from the growth of omni-channel capabilities, renewed loyalty program and inventory management initiatives.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on HIBB. Canaccord Genuity increased their price target on Hibbett Sports from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 22nd. ValuEngine downgraded Hibbett Sports from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. TheStreet raised Hibbett Sports from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 9th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Hibbett Sports from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 10th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.29.

NASDAQ HIBB opened at $26.45 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01, a quick ratio of 1.26 and a current ratio of 3.39. Hibbett Sports has a 1 year low of $9.40 and a 1 year high of $29.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $493.75 million, a P/E ratio of 16.23, a PEG ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.83.

Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) last released its earnings results on Friday, May 25th. The company reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.15 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $274.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $276.98 million. Hibbett Sports had a net margin of 3.68% and a return on equity of 10.51%. Hibbett Sports’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.97 earnings per share. analysts expect that Hibbett Sports will post 1.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Alton E. Yother sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.20, for a total transaction of $141,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 16,237 shares in the company, valued at approximately $457,883.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Cathy E. Pryor sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.58, for a total value of $146,770.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 13,300 shares in the company, valued at $300,314. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Hibbett Sports by 14.1% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,598,253 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,278,000 after acquiring an additional 197,828 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of Hibbett Sports by 37.6% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 773,969 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,535,000 after acquiring an additional 211,526 shares during the period. Maverick Capital Ltd. grew its position in shares of Hibbett Sports by 136.2% during the 4th quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. now owns 468,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,551,000 after acquiring an additional 269,952 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in shares of Hibbett Sports by 7,057.6% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 446,849 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,702,000 after acquiring an additional 440,606 shares during the period. Finally, GW&K Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of Hibbett Sports by 7.4% during the 1st quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 426,790 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,222,000 after acquiring an additional 29,473 shares during the period.

About Hibbett Sports

Hibbett Sports, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates athletic specialty stores. Its stores offer a range of merchandise, including athletic footwear, athletic and fashion apparel, sports equipment, and related accessories. The company also operates Hibbett.com, an e-commerce Website. As of March 28, 2018, it operated approximately 1,000 stores primarily in small and mid-sized communities in the United States.

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