Dick's Sporting Goods to stop selling hunting rifles, ammunition at 125 stores

Dick's Sporting Goods is removing guns from more stores

Dick's Sporting Goods said Tuesday that it will stop selling hunting rifles and ammunition at 125 of its stores.

Ed Stack, Dick's CEO, said on the call that the company is struggling to recover from recently declining sales that he attributed to backlash from the company's stance on guns, the Journal reported.

The in-store sections will be replaced with "merchandise categories that can drive growth", he said. Dick's had previously removed assault-style weapons at some locations and raised the minimum purchase age for firearms weeks after the February 2018 deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida killed 17 people.

On Tuesday, Dick's reported that sales fell to $2.49 billion in the fourth quarter, ended February 2, from $2.66 billion the year ago which had an extra week, beating estimates of $2.48 billion. The report met Wall Street expectations of $1.07 earnings per share, according to analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Dick's net income totaled $102.6 million, or $1.07 a share, in the quarter, down from $116.0 million, or $1.11 a share, in the year-ago period which had one extra week.

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Executives at the sporting goods store said on a conference call that the company will stop the sale of firearms in 125 of its stores, The Wall Street Journal reported.The company tested the concept in 10 of its stores in the past year.

It sales at stores opened at least a year - a key measure for retailers - fell 2.2 percent.

The company's 2018 revenue was down nearly 2 percent to $8.4 billion, a dip that Stack has attributed to slower firearm sales, a change in Under Armour Inc.'s distribution strategy and weak performance in electronics sales.

Dick's expects full-year earnings to be $3.15 to $3.35 per share. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.48 billion.

Its stock was down $4.20 to $34.69 in afternoon trading.

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