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Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation Announces Fiscal 2010 Fourth Quarter And Full Year Sales Results And Updates Earnings Guidance

For the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, the Company now expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.23 to $0.25, excluding a net charge of $0.07 per diluted share related to legal matters as discussed below, compared to a previously issued guidance range of $0.25 to $0.33. During the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter, the Company's earnings per diluted share were $0.32, excluding a net charge of $0.03 per diluted share related to legal matters.   For the fiscal 2010 full year, the Company now expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.99 to $1.01, excluding the net charge of $0.07 per diluted share, compared to earnings per diluted share in the prior year of $1.04, excluding the net charge of $0.03 per diluted share.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company recorded a net pre-tax charge of $2.3 million, or $0.07 per diluted share after tax, for lawsuits previously disclosed in the Company's filings with the SEC, of which $1.5 million will be classified as selling and administrative expense and $0.8 million will be classified as a reduction in net sales. Including this charge, the Company expects to realize earnings per diluted share for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter in the range of $0.16 to $0.18. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, the Company's earnings per diluted share were $0.29, including a net pre-tax charge of approximately $1.0 million, or $0.03 per diluted share after tax. Including the legal charges in both periods, for the fiscal 2010 full year, the Company expects to realize earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.92 to $0.94 compared to earnings per diluted share of $1.01 in the prior year.

"We are disappointed that our sales results came in below expectations for the fourth quarter," said Steven G. Miller, the Company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We achieved same store sales in the positive low-single-digit range for October and positive mid-single-digit range for November, which included the 'Black Friday' weekend. However, these gains were offset as our sales turned negative over the three-week key gift shopping period preceding Christmas. We are encouraged that positive sales trends resumed after Christmas and have continued into the start of 2011. We are also pleased to have further strengthened our balance sheet during the quarter, as our positive cash flow allowed us to reduce borrowings under our credit facility by 12% to $48.3 million at year-end compared to the end of fiscal 2009."

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