Academy Sales Fall in Q1 as CEO Cites “Pressure” on Consumers

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Academy Sports + Outdoors shares dipped in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the company missed sales and earnings expectations in the first quarter.

For the first quarter, net sales at the Katy, Texas-based retailer fell 1.4 percent to $1.36 billion, down from $1.38 billion in 2023. Net income for the quarter was $76.5 million, down 18.6 percent from $94 million the year prior. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $1.08, down 16.9 percent from the prior year. Comparable sales were down 5.7 percent. Earnings and sales results in Q1 fell short of analysts’ projection from Yahoo Finance, which targeted EPS of $1.22 and sales of $1.38 billion.

Shares of Academy were down more than 5 percent before markets opened on Tuesday.

According to Academy chief executive officer Steve Lawrence, the results reflected a consumer “under pressure in the current economic environment.”

“We will navigate through the remainder of the year by continuing to lean into our position as the value leader in our space, while also inspiring customers to shop through introductions and expansions of new and innovative products,” Lawrence said in a statement. “We will also continue making strategic investments in our long-range growth initiatives.”

Academy opened two new stores during the first quarter. In 2024, the company plans on opening 15 to 17 new stores as part of a larger goal to open 160 to 180 stores over the next five years.

The retailer said it still expects net sales in fiscal 2024 to be between $6.07 billion and $6.35 billion, which ranges from a 1.5 percent loss to a 3 percent gain for the year. The company updated its earnings per share guidance in light of share repurchase activity in Q1 and now expects EPS to between $6.05 and $7.05.

Chief financial officer Carl Ford said that Academy generated $200 million in cash from operations during the quarter, which is being invested into the company’s long-range plan.

“We are focused on driving traffic, managing our inventory to maintain margins, and controlling expenses as we invest in our growth initiatives,” Ford said.

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