NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of athletic retailer Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS) hit a 52-week high after it reported Tuesday a 27% increase in fourth-quarter earnings. Dick's Sporting Goods earned $111.1 million, or 88 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, up from year-ago earnings of $87.5 million, or 71 cents. Analysts were expecting earnings of 88 cents a share.
"DKS issued its FY2012 outlook of $2.38-$2.41, with $0.03 due to the 53rd week," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a report on Tuesday. "This is in line with consensus of $2.39, and appears conservative in our view as DKS is appropriately managing expectations considering guidance misses in three of the last four quarters." JPMorgan analysts added that it believes "the setup is in place for DKS to provide potential EPS upside nearly all year with management taking a conservative tack to guidance. DKS basically forecast in-line comps in 1Q plus a bit of EPS upside and then took a prudent tack to the year by bracketing the Street plus the 53rd week." Share of Dick's Sporting Goods hit a 52-week high on Tuesday of $47.42. The stock's 52-week low of $29.10 was set on Aug. 9. Dick's Sporting Goods has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio of 16.85 times; the average for specialty retailers is 16.78. For comparison, Big 5 Sporting Goods ( BGFV) has a forward P/E of 9.58; Hibbett Sports' ( HIBB) forward P/E is 20.61. Sixteen of the 24 analysts who cover Dick's Sporting Goods rated it buy. Seven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Dick's Sporting Goods a B+ grade with a buy rating and a $54.03 price target. The stock has risen 26.74% year to date.