EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) â¿¿ Shares of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. hit a 52-week low on Wednesday as the sporting goods company's first-quarter net income tumbled 54 percent and missed analysts' expectations because of increased expenses as customer traffic declined. The company also gave a second-quarter earnings outlook much lower than Wall Street's view. Its stock slid $1.61, or 13.7 percent, to $10.16 in afternoon trading. The shares hit a fresh 52-week low of $9.72 earlier in the session. Big 5 reported late Tuesday that it earned $2.8 million, or 13 cents per share, for the period ended April 3. That compares with earnings of $5 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 20 cents per share. Selling and administrative expenses rose to $67.3 million from $63.1 million because of a bigger store count, higher employee benefit costs and increased advertising expenses. Revenue improved to $221.1 million from $218.5 million, helped by a shift in the Easter holiday, which fell later this year than last. Big 5, which operates nearly 400 locations mostly in the Western U.S., said its stores close for Easter. The performance narrowly missed Wall Street's estimate of $221.4 million. Revenue from stores open at least a year dipped 0.9 percent. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes revenue from stores opened or closed during the year. Chairman, President and CEO Steven Miller said in a statement that shoppers likely pulled back on purchases in the quarter due to rising gas prices and high unemployment. He cautioned that sales in the second quarter to date are still challenging because consumers are still dealing with difficult economic conditions. For the second quarter, Big 5 predicts earnings of 6 cents to 14 cents per share. A year ago, the retailer earned 22 cents per share. The El Segundo, Calif., company also anticipates revenue at stores open at least a year will be flat to down in the low single-digits range.
Analysts predict earnings of 23 cents per share for the quarter.Big 5 also declared a quarterly dividend of 7.5 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on June 15 to shareholders of record on June 1.