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Hibbett profit increases 24%; opening 55 to 60 stores

Birmingham, Ala. -- Hibbett Sports Inc. said Friday that its fiscal first-quarter net income increased 24% on higher demand for sneakers and other athletic gear. The retailer also raised its profit outlook for the year.

For the three months through April 28, Hibbett earned a better-than-expected $26.4 million, up from $21.3 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 14% to $232.9 million from $203.7 million. Because of expectations for better sales and controlled costs, the retailer also lifted its profit outlook for the year to $2.50 to $2.65 per share from a previous prediction of $2.35 to $2.55 per share. For the year ending in January 2013, analysts expect earnings of $2.55 per share.

Hibbett operated 835 locations in 26 states as of April 28. For the year, the company expects to open 55 to 60 stores and close up to 18.