September 9, 2009 / 4:33 PM / 9 years ago

Forzani shares sag on second-quarter loss, outlook

* Results miss estimates for EPS of C$0.03

* Shares down 5 percent at C$13.59

TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Shares of Forzani Group FGL.TO sagged about 5 percent on Wednesday after the sporting goods retailer reported quarterly results that missed estimates and warned of tough times ahead.

The second-quarter loss, which came below most forecasts for a small profit, prompted some analysts to revise their outlooks for the remainder of the year.

The Calgary, Alberta-based retailer, whose banners include Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports and Atmosphere, said on Tuesday it lost C$4.4 million ($4.1 million), or 14 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter. That compared with a profit of C$1.6 million, or 5 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding a number of items, most notably legal charges and severance costs, the company reported a loss of 6 Canadian cents a share.

Forzani was expected to report, on average, earnings per share of 3 Canadian cents before items, according to Reuters estimates.

Same-store sales slipped 1 percent as the retailer was hit by a cold and wet summer in most parts of the country and weak consumer confidence.

“Softer sales was certainly a component (of the miss). We were looking for more,” said Sheila Broughton, a retail analyst at PI Financial in Vancouver, British Columbia. “The results were definitely weaker than expected.”

Broughton maintained her share price estimate of C$15 a share.

By late morning, Forzani shares were down 5 percent at C$13.59.

David Pupo, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Markets Canada, also maintained his share price estimate of C$15, but lowered his earnings per share target.

Pupo now sees full-year earnings per share to be about 83 Canadian cents, down from his earlier forecast of C$1.08.

“Recently, our thesis on Forzani was that it moved too far, too fast. After (the second-quarter) results, our thesis is still intact,” Pupo wrote in a note to investors.

“Until Forzani is able to demonstrate sustainable same-store sales growth with firmer margins, we remain cautious on the stock. Expect relative underperformance until signs of sales rejuvenation surface.”

Broughton also said investors were concerned about weak sales during the just-ended back-to-school season. The company counts on the key period for about 25 percent of total yearly sales.

Forzani, which is not expected to report full back-to-school sales results until later this month, said on Tuesday that sales for the first five weeks of its third quarter were down 1.1 percent, compared with a 2.5 percent increase for the same time last year.

“These early results lead us to expect the back half of the year will be similar to (second-quarter) results,” Broughton said.

$1=$1.08 Canadian Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Rob Wilson

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