Like the kid who always was picked last in gym class, Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV) is struggling. There had been little to like about its performance in 2007, and the hits just kept coming in the fourth quarter. As a result, the company's shares are down 62% in the past year.

Blaming the weather (thank goodness the dog didn't eat the quarterly report), along with slower sales of wheeled shoes that didn't roll off the shelves as quickly as the kids scooting around in them, the retailer reported a 1% slip in sales and a 4.7% drop in same-store sales. While about 45% of the sales decline was because shoes with wheels suddenly rolled out of popularity, the top line was helped out by new openings that pumped the store count up to 363.

Operating expenses rose to 28.8% of sales, an increase of 220 basis points over last year, mainly because of lower-than-expected sales, higher store-related expenses from additional stores, and greater advertising expenses. The higher costs flowed to the bottom line, as Big 5 reported that quarterly net income declined 33% to $0.28 per share. If it's any consolation, earnings did beat analyst estimates by $0.02 per share.

At this point, it looks like the only thing going up at Big 5 is its inventory, which the company will have to clear out with promotional pricing. Further, the housing downturn is expected to put pressure on consumer spending, especially in Big 5's major markets such as California, where the housing market has taken a big hit. And the competition may become a little tougher with Dick's Sporting Goods' (NYSE: DKS) recent acquisition of Chick's Sporting Goods.

However, if you're looking to bet on an eventual turnaround in the Southwest, Big 5 could be your home run waiting to happen. The company is trading at a P/E of just 6.5 times trailing earnings, with no sign of operational or managerial issues, while Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) sells for 24 times trailing earnings and Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) sells for 14.1. At last, it looks as though Wall Street just might be picking the wrong kid.

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Fool contributor Jason Ramage welcomes your feedback. He doesn't own any companies mentioned here. The Fool has a disclosure policy.