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Dick's Sporting Goods boosts outlook; shares rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. raised its fourth-quarter and 2013 earnings outlook Monday after reporting strong sales during the holiday shopping season.

The new projection was higher than Wall Street analysts had expected, and shares of the sporting goods retailer rose in morning trading.

The company said sales at store open at least a year rose about 7 percent during the fourth quarter from a year earlier. Sales at stores open at least a year is considered a key indicator of a retailer's operating performance because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

"Even with the cautious consumer environment and a shorter and promotional holiday season, we generated sales well above our original expectations," Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack said in a statement.

The company now expects earnings per share between $1.10 and $1.11 for the quarter that ran through January, up from its previous outlook for between $1.04 and $1.07. Analysts had expected $1.06 per share, according to FactSet.

For the full fiscal year ending Feb. 1, Dick's Sporting Goods now expects earnings between $2.68 per share and $2.69 per share, up from its earlier guidance of between $2.62 per share and $2.65 per share. Analysts had expected $2.65 per share.

The company also said it expects earnings for fiscal 2014 of $3.03 to $3.08 per share. Analysts had expected $3.10 per share.

Dick's Sporting Goods, based in Coraopolis, Pa., operates 558 of its namesake stores and 79 Golf Galaxy stores around the country.

Its shares rose $1.63, or 3.2 percent, to $52.73 in morning trading Monday.

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