Zacks Investment Research Lowers Hibbett Sports (HIBB) to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Hibbett lagged the industry in the past three months due to unimpressive results in the first half of fiscal 2019. In the second quarter, the company reported loss per share and lower-than-expected sales. Higher SG&A expenses primarily impacted the bottom line. Further, softness in the license, equipment and accessory businesses hurt results. Additionally, the company’s soft margins trend in the last few quarters has been a concern. Though the company’s gross margin expanded after softness in seven quarters, it reported operating loss owing to higher SG&A expenses. Driven by the dismal first-half results, management trimmed its guidance for fiscal 2019.  However, Hibbett remains focused on enhancing its omni-channel capabilities, renewing loyalty program and inventory management initiatives. Also, the company is witnessing significant improvement in its branded apparel and footwear categories, which is encouraging.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Hibbett Sports from $22.00 to $26.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on shares of Hibbett Sports from $24.00 to $22.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 27th. MKM Partners reduced their price target on shares of Hibbett Sports to $20.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Susquehanna Bancshares reduced their price target on shares of Hibbett Sports from $33.00 to $25.00 and set a positive rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity downgraded shares of Hibbett Sports from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their price target for the company from $31.00 to $21.00 in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Hibbett Sports presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.64.

HIBB stock opened at $18.18 on Friday. Hibbett Sports has a 12 month low of $12.60 and a 12 month high of $29.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $348.86 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.15, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.64.

Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 24th. The company reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.08 by ($0.14). Hibbett Sports had a net margin of 3.79% and a return on equity of 11.04%. The firm had revenue of $211.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $215.55 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.15) earnings per share. Hibbett Sports’s quarterly revenue was up 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Hibbett Sports will post 1.71 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Hibbett Sports by 9.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,815,369 shares of the company’s stock valued at $64,470,000 after purchasing an additional 233,090 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Hibbett Sports by 14.1% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,598,253 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,278,000 after buying an additional 197,828 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in Hibbett Sports by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,336,962 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,617,000 after buying an additional 59,200 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in Hibbett Sports by 37.6% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 773,969 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,535,000 after buying an additional 211,526 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in Hibbett Sports by 7,057.6% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 446,849 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,702,000 after buying an additional 440,606 shares during the period.

About Hibbett Sports

Hibbett Sports, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates athletic specialty stores. Its stores offer a range of merchandise, including athletic footwear, athletic and fashion apparel, sports equipment, and related accessories. The company also operates Hibbett.com, an e-commerce Website. As of March 28, 2018, it operated approximately 1,000 stores primarily in small and mid-sized communities in the United States.

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