Sports Authority Skids on Warning

Shares of Sports Authority (TSA) plunged Thursday as the company said it expected second-quarter earnings to come in below analysts' estimates.

Shares of the company were recently down $5.44, or 17.9%, to $25.01.

The sporting goods retailer said it anticipated a same-store sales decline of 4% to 5% and earnings per share of between 16 and 18 cents a share.

Excluding per-share merger integration expenses, the company expects adjusted earnings of 41 cents to 48 cents a share.

Analysts had forecast earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $627.37 million for the second quarter according to Thomson First Call.

The company indicated that unusually cool and wet weather in key markets hurts the company's bottom line, while seasonal outdoor categories and fitness equipment sales also performed below expectations.

The company cited some strength in the footwear category, as well as in the company's remodeling program, noting that sales have increased in the 27 remodeled stores.

The company said it remains "cautiously optimistic about the third and fourth quarters due to continued progress on the store remodel and gross margin initiatives as well as the fall and winter merchandise assortments." The company said that it will update its guidance for fiscal 2004, as well as the third quarter when it reports on August 26.

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