The trick, it's said, is to keep your head when others all around you are losing theirs. Sporting-goods retailer Hibbett Sports
Contrast that with Dick's Sporting Goods
The results seem to underscore the value of Hibbett's more diversified, national footprint. With more than 700 stores primarily serving the Southeast, Southwest, and mid-Atlantic region, Hibbett is nearly as large as both Dick's and Big 5 combined. And those two companies’ more regional concentration in areas hard-hit by the imploding housing market and economy has hurt their results. Big 5 has half of its stores in California, with others strewn throughout the Midwest, while Dick's has about a fifth of its stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Another key to Hibbett's success has been locating its stores in strip malls that are typically anchored by a Wal-Mart
While Hibbett raised its 2009 forecast and plans to open an additional 75 stores, Dick’s cut its expectations for the rest of the year. It now says it will earn somewhere between $1.13 and $1.20 per share, compared to prior forecasts of $1.27 to $1.36 per share, and is slowing its expansion plans as it tries to weather the economic slowdown.
That's similar to the strategy Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation Cabela's
Even though Hibbett Sports' shares have been cut in half from their highs, it trades at a significant premium on future profits to Dick's, Big 5, and even Foot Locker
Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Wal-Mart but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.