Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc (NASDAQ:ASO) Comparable Sales Fall

Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc (NASDAQ:ASO) stock fell 0.78% (As on March 22, 11:24:05 AM UTC-4, Source: Google Finance) after the company reported a decline in fourth-quarter comparable sales by 3.6%, which is a +440 basis point increase vs. (8.0%) third Quarter 2023. ASO has opened seven new stores during the fourth quarter for a total of 14 stores in 2023. In 2024, the company plans on opening 15-17 new stores. Despite the challenges faced in 2023, the company has reported a 6.7% increase in net income to $168.2 million.

ASO in the fourth quarter of FY 23 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $2.21, missing the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share by 7 cents. The company had reported the adjusted revenue growth of 2.8 percent to $1.79 billion in the fourth quarter of FY 23, which matches the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $1.79 billion.

Subsequent to the end of fiscal 2023, on March 7, 2024, ASO has declared a quarterly cash dividend with respect to the quarter ended February 3, 2024, of $0.11 per share of common stock. This is a 22% increase from the previous dividend payment. The dividend is payable on April 18, 2024, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 26, 2024. In addition, on March 8, 2024, the Company has amended and extended its $1.0 billion ABL credit facility through March 8, 2029, which means ASO has reduced its long-term debt by 17.1%. Meanwhile, ASO’s balance sheet reflects a solid financial position, with a 3.2% increase in cash and cash equivalents and a 7.0% decrease in merchandise inventories. The company’s capital allocation for the fiscal year shows a strategic shift, with a 58.3% reduction in share repurchases and a 10.6% increase in dividends paid.

For the fiscal year 2025, Academy Sports forecasts an EPS range of $5.90 to $6.90, below the analyst consensus of $7.51. The company also anticipates revenues between $6.07 billion and $6.35 billion, which is short of the expected $6.38 billion. The midpoint of the guidance for EPS and revenue indicates a downward revision from the consensus, with the EPS midpoint at $6.40, 14.8% lower than the consensus, and the revenue midpoint at $6.21 billion, 2.7% below the consensus. Capital expenditures are expected to rise by 20.2%, and adjusted free cash flow is projected to increase slightly.

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