Big Five Q1 income slides 54%

El Segundo, Calif. -- Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp.’s first-quarter net income fell 54% 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.

Big 5 reported late Tuesday that it earned $2.8 million for the period ended April 3, down from $5 million a year ago.

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. Big 5, which operates nearly 400 locations mostly in the Western United States, said its stores close for Easter. Same-store sales slipped 0.9%.

The performance narrowly missed Wall Street's estimate of $221.4 million.

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.

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