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Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (Nasdaq: BGFV) (the “Company,” “we,” “our,” “us,” “Big 5”), a leading sporting goods retailer, today reported sales results for the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter and full year ended January 3, 2021.

big5 storeFor the 14-week fiscal 2020 fourth quarter, net sales were $290.5 million compared to net sales of $244.1 million for the 13-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. Same store sales increased 10.5% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. The Company’s merchandise margins increased by approximately 240 basis points for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. Preliminary selling, general & administrative (“SG&A”) expenses as a percentage of net sales decreased by approximately 470 basis points for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 versus the prior year period.

For the 53-week fiscal 2020 full year, net sales increased to $1.04 billion compared to net sales of $996.5 million for the 52-week fiscal 2019. Same store sales increased 3.0% for the fiscal 2020 full year despite periods of significant store closures during the year associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company’s merchandise margins increased by approximately 190 basis points for the fiscal 2020 full year compared to fiscal 2019. Preliminary SG&A expenses as a percentage of net sales decreased by approximately 320 basis points in fiscal 2020 versus the prior year.

As a result of the Company’s fiscal calendar, the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 included 14 weeks, the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year included 13 weeks, the fiscal 2020 full year included 53 weeks and the prior fiscal full year included 52 weeks. The Company’s same store sales results for the fourth quarter reflect comparable 14-week periods and for the full year reflect comparable 53-week periods.

For the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter, the Company now expects to generate earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.90 to $0.93, including a benefit of $0.10per diluted share related to a favorable insurance settlement and a benefit of $0.02 per diluted share related to a reduction in deferred tax asset valuation allowance, which compares to the Company’s previous guidance for the fourth quarter of earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.35 to $0.60. For the fiscal 2020 full year, the Company now expects to generate earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.53 to $2.56, including a benefit of $0.25 per diluted share, reflecting the $0.12 per diluted share benefit noted above and a $0.13 per diluted share net benefit in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 as previously disclosed. For purposes of comparison to the prior year, for the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter the Company realized earnings per diluted share of $0.02, which included a charge of $0.02 per diluted share, and for the fiscal 2019 full year the Company realized earnings per diluted share of $0.40. Financial results for the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter and full year are unaudited, preliminary and subject to final year-end accounting entries.

The Company ended the 2020 fiscal year with no borrowings under its credit facility and with cash of $64.7 million, which compares to $66.6 million of borrowings under its credit facility and $8.2 million of cash as of the end of the 2019 fiscal year. Total merchandise inventories decreased by approximately 19.2% as of the end of fiscal 2020 versus the end of the prior fiscal year.

“We are extremely pleased with our outstanding fourth quarter and full year performance,” said Steven G. Miller, the Company’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We anticipate record earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year, driven by a combination of sales growth, merchandise margin expansion and increased operating leverage from our improved cost structure. Over the course of the year, we continued to strengthen our balance sheet by fully paying down our revolver, growing our cash balance and effectively managing our merchandise inventory. Our team has done a tremendous job navigating the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter a new year, we are confident that our product offerings will continue to attract customers who are looking to stay healthy and active. Although we recognize that uncertainty remains surrounding the potential future impacts from the pandemic and the overall consumer environment, we feel well positioned to continue our momentum as we begin 2021.”

The Company expects to issue earnings results for the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter and full year in early March 2021.

About Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation

Big 5 is a leading sporting goods retailer in the western United States, operating 430 stores under the “Big 5 Sporting Goods” name as of the fiscal quarter ended January 3, 2021. Big 5 provides a full-line product offering in a traditional sporting goods store format that averages 11,000 square feet. Big 5’s product mix includes athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, as well as a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, home recreation, tennis, golf, and winter and summer recreation.

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