What happened

After jumping more than 12% earlier in the day Friday, shares of athletics inspired retailer Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) remain up 4% as of 11:30 a.m. EST. The company reported earnings this morning, and several positive metrics stood out.

So what 

Hibbett reported earnings of $1.47 per diluted share, triple the $0.45 per share estimated by analysts. The company also reported blowout comparable store sales of 21.2%, versus the 7.5% increase expected according to Refinitiv.

woman shopping at athletics retail store

Image source: Getty Images.

As with many retailers this year, Hibbett reported strong e-commerce sales that increased 51% compared to the previous year. But perhaps most surprising was that comp sales for brick-and-mortar stores jumped 17.5%. 

Fellow athletic clothing retailer Foot Locker also reported earnings that solidly beat analyst estimates today, but same-store sales only rose 7.7% at the larger competitor. As of Oct. 31, 2020 Hibbett has under 1,100 stores, while Foot Locker operates over 3,000 stores in 27 countries.

Now what

Hibbett president and CEO Mike Longo attributed the solid results to several factors that he said helped both in-store and online sales. He said in a statement that "new customer retention, the timing of back-to-school spending, and availability of in-demand footwear, apparel and accessories" drove the successful quarter. 

With new customer additions, a growing e-commerce platform, and what the company calls "strong vendor relationships" that help it meet customer demand, Hibbett estimates it will see high-single-digit to low-double-digit comparable sales in its fourth quarter. 

Retail investors know that consumer interest can be fickle. But for now, Hibbett seems to have hit on what its customers are looking for. 

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