Monday, April 10, 2006

HIBB....looks to be good to us...but you do the research yourself!


Let's take a little time to check this one let's talk about Hibbett. Let's see if the stock still looks like it belongs or a buy.

First of all, their business. According to the Yahoo "Profile" on Hibbett, the company

"...operates sporting goods stores in small to mid-sized markets in the southeast, mid-atlantic, and midwest United States. The company, through its stores, offers athletic equipment, footwear, and apparel. As of February 2, 2006, it operated 549 Hibbett Sports stores, including smaller-format Sports Additions athletic shoe stores and larger format Sports & Co. superstores."

Let's check and see if there is any news of significance on the company.

The latest news appears to be the 4th quarter 2006 earnings report. Reported on March 9, 2006, the company reported:

"Net sales for the 13-week period ended January 28, 2006, increased 12.8% to $120.8 million compared with $107.1 million for the 13-week period ended January 29, 2005. Comparable store sales increased 2.5% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Net income for the fourth fiscal quarter increased 21.7% to $9.9 million compared with $8.1 million in the fourth fiscal quarter of last year. Earnings per diluted share increased 26.1% to $0.29 compared with $0.23 per diluted share in the prior year."

So from my perspective this was a satisfactory report. Revenue was up nicely, earnings were solid, but the same store sales gain of 2.5% is a bit anemic and I suspect that is why the stock price is currently consolidating instead of continuing to charge higher.

How about longer-term?

Looking at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on HIBB is simply drop-dead gorgeous. This is a textbook example of what I am looking for in a stock. I mean talking about having all of your ducks in a row!

Revenue has steadily grown from $210 million in 2001 to $378 million in 2005 and $427 million in the trailing twelve months (TTM). Earnings have also been steadily growing from $.32/share in 2001 to $.71/share in 2005 and $.92/share in the TTM. Shares outstanding has also been fairly steady with 33 million in 2001, increasing to 35 million by 2005 and 36 million in the TTM.

Free cash flow? Also perfect imho. With $11 million in 2003, increasing to $33 million in 2005 and $35 million in the TTM.

What about the reported balance sheet? Calculating the "current ratio", comparing the total current assets to the current liabilities, gives us a total of $155.2 million in current asets, balanced against $56.7 million in current liabilities--almost a current ratio of 3. The current assets can easily pay off the total combined liabilities of $70 million, more than two times over.

What about some valuation numbers on this stock?

Reviewing the Yahoo "Key Statistics" on Hibbett, we find that HIBB is a mid-cap stock with a market capitalization of $1.1 billion. The trailing p/e is a moderate 31.37, with a forward p/e (fye 28-Jan-08) of only 23.42. Calculating the PEG based on the 5 Yr Expected growth, gives us a PEG of only 1.19. Thus, valuation by this measure isn't bad at all.

According to the eResearch website, Hibb is the 'priciest' of the stocks in the "Sporting Goods Stores" industrial group, with a Price/Sales ratio of 2.5. This is followed by Golf Galaxy (GGA) at 1.5, Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) at 0.8, Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV) at 0.5, and Sports Authority (TSA) at 0.4. No bargain by this parameter!

Finishing up with Yahoo, we find that there are 35.71 million shares outstanding with 35.47 million of them that float. Currently there are 1.62 million shares out short (3/10/06) representing 4.60% of the float, or 7.2 trading days of volume. This number, if I use my arbitrary 3 day cut-off, looks significant to me and on any good news, the short-sellers could be subject to a bit of a squeeze as they scramble to cover. However, on the other hand, a heavy dose of short-sellers suggest investors who believe the stock should be trading lower.

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