Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) earnings Q1 2024

A shopping cart sits in front of a Dick’s Sporting Goods store on August 26, 2020 in Daly City, California. 

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Dick’s Sporting Goods on Wednesday said customers are spending more on new sneakers and athletic gear, leading the retailer to raise its full-year earnings guidance. 

The big-box sports store’s comparable sales grew 5.3% during its fiscal first quarter, well ahead of the 2.4% growth that analysts had expected, according to StreetAccount. 

The company said that growth was driven by a 2.7% increase in transactions, meaning more customers are shopping at Dick’s, and a 2.6% jump in average ticket values, showing that shoppers are spending more, too. 

Dick’s said shrink, a retail industry term that refers to lost or stolen merchandise, increased less than the company expected, after it saw higher than anticipated shrink last year.

The company’s shares closed about 16% higher on Wednesday.

Here’s how Dick’s did in the period compared with what Wall Street was anticipating, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG:

  • Earnings per share: $3.30 vs. $2.95 expected
  • Revenue: $3.02 billion vs. $2.94 billion expected

The company’s reported net income for the three-month period that ended May 4 was $275 million, or $3.30 per share, compared with $305 million, or $3.40 per share, a year earlier. 

Sales rose to $3.02 billion, up about 6% from $2.84 billion a year earlier.

“We saw growth across all of the different areas of our business. Footwear, apparel, total hard lines, all grew,” CEO Lauren Hobart told analysts on an earnings call. “The consumer is absolutely putting a priority on a healthy and active lifestyle. You see people running and walking, being outdoors. But I think the most important thing is that we are providing them with an experience that they’re clearly choosing and that’s both through the products that we have in our stores, as well as the experience that we provide in-store and online.”

Hobart said the strong quarter led Dick’s to raise its full-year guidance, but the company is remaining cautious for the back half of the year.

The retailer is now expecting earnings per share to be between $13.35 and $13.75, up from its previous range of $12.85 to $13.25. That’s ahead of the $13.25 that analysts had expected, according to LSEG.

The retailer’s caution was reflected in its sales guidance, which fell a bit flat after its first-quarter revenue beat.

Dick’s now expects comparable sales to rise between 2% and 3%, compared with previous guidance of up 1% to 2%. The low end of that range is only in line with the 2% growth that analysts had expected, according to StreetAccount. 

Dick’s is expecting full-year revenue to be between $13.1 billion and $13.2 billion, which is also in line with estimates of $13.16 billion, according to LSEG. 

“What we have done today in terms of the full-year guidance, is it reflects the results that we posted here in Q1 and we maintained largely our expectations for Q2 through Q4,” finance chief Navdeep Gupta told analysts. “There’s a little bit of a disconnect with the external consensus expectation but I would say, you know, we are appropriately cautious as we think about Q2.”

A jolt for footwear and apparel

Over the last year, consumers beaten down by stubborn inflation and high interest rates have pulled back on discretionary items like new clothes and shoes, but the apparel and footwear markets have shown some signs of life over the last couple of weeks. 

Dick’s performance indicates that consumers are willing to shell out for new releases and other staples from big brands like Nike, Hoka, Adidas and On Running, and are spending on things that they may not necessarily need, but are nice to have. 

Similar trends were spotted at other retailers. Last week, Ross Stores, Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters and TJX Cos. all reported positive comparable sales. Even Target mentioned that apparel was a bright spot in an otherwise dim quarter after the retailer saw sluggish clothes sales in the prior-year period. Demand for new Hoka sneakers and Ugg boots drove a 21% jump in sales at Deckers, and even Shoe Carnival, which caters more to lower-income consumers, saw sales grow about 7%, ahead of Wall Street’s estimates, according to LSEG. 

More insights about the state of consumer health, and the impact it’s having on the apparel and footwear markets, are still to come. Abercrombie & Fitch reported its strongest first quarter in history on Wednesday and American Eagle is set to post earnings later in the afternoon. Foot Locker, Birkenstock and Gap will report on Thursday.

Read Dick’s full earnings release here.

— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Robert Hum.

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