The Best Option in Sporting Goods

Grant is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

The sporting goods market has experienced significant growth lately, and the emergence of performance apparel and America's push to be healthy has helped retailers along.  Lets take a look our competitors for the top sporting good company that you should have in your portfolio.

<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Company</td> <td>Market Cap</td> <td>Beta</td> <td>Div. Yld</td> <td>Debt/Equity</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Dick's Sporting Goods </strong><span class="ticker" data-id="203313">(NYSE: <a href="">DKS</a>)</span></td> <td> $5.9 B</td> <td>1.26</td> <td> 1.04%</td> <td> 0.01</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Cabela's Inc</strong> <span class="ticker" data-id="203026">(NYSE: <a href="">CAB</a>)</span></td> <td> $3.6 B</td> <td>1.61</td> <td> 0.00</td> <td> 0.35</td> </tr> <tr> <td><span><strong>Hibbett Sports</strong> <span class="ticker" data-id="203833">(NASDAQ: <a href="">HIBB</a>)</span></span></td> <td> $1.4 B</td> <td>1.21</td> <td> 0.00</td> <td> 0.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Big 5 Sporting Goods</strong> <span class="ticker" data-id="202946">(NASDAQ: <a href="">BGFV</a>)</span></td> <td> $296.3 M</td> <td>1.80</td> <td> <span>2.15%</span></td> <td> 0.36</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

*Sports Authority was bought out in 2011 and remains a big player in the sporting goods industry*

Not much separates these stocks except size.  It's always a plus to have a dividend in my book (Dick's and Big 5), and it's certainly a positive for Hibbett and Dick's not having any debt, but at the same time it's not like the others are floundering.  Lets move on to some more telling statistics: 

<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Company</td> <td>Price/Book</td> <td>P/E</td> <td>2013 Proj. EPS Growth</td> <td>ROE</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Dick's Sporting Goods</strong></td> <td> <p>3.45</p> </td> <td><span>22.19</span></td> <td> 14%</td> <td>16.0</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Cabela's Inc</strong></td> <td>2.74</td> <td><span>20.86</span></td> <td> 14%</td> <td>13.4</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Hibbett Sports</strong> </td> <td> 6.02</td> <td><span>20.74</span></td> <td> 12%</td> <td>30.1</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Big 5 Sporting Goods</strong></td> <td> 1.88</td> <td>27.86</td> <td> 25%</td> <td>6.8</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

All of these stocks have been on a run lately along with the market, sitting within 15% of their 52-week high.  Also, we can see the growth in this industry is not slowing down, and I would be happy with any of these growth rates.

Though gun reform is in the early stages of legislation, it is a concern for Cabela's.  Guns and firearms made up 41% of Cabela's sales in 2011, so it is important that they continue to do well in this area.  Dick's has already suspended the sales of certain guns after the Sandy Hook shooting, possibly just as a sign of respect, but no date has been given for returning them to shelves.      

The Winner      

Although I feel the industry as a whole will continue to do well, my top stock in the sporting goods industry is Hibbett Sports.  They have a great balance sheet with no debt, and are also planning to open 60 stores in 2013 (Dicks is opening 5).  With a ROE of 30 the future looks pretty exciting for Hibbett.  According to CEO Micky Newsome "Our absolute focus is rural areas," and with over 400 potential new markets identified this leaves even more room to grow.  Hibbett also uses a different strategy from Dick's, in that the areas Hibbett selects to build stores in have little to no competition.  Other companies aren't interested in splitting up these small markets, and Hibbett specifically selects areas away from competitors.  According to Newsome, the stores occupy small and narrow spaces, average 5,000 square feet, and bring in around $162 per square foot in sales.

The performance of the sporting goods industry runs closely with that of the economy.  If people dont have extra money to spend buying new equipment or name brand apparel, it's an easy thing to cut out.  With America riding the healthy trend at the moment it looks like a great time to get in on the suppliers to this trend.   

TeenStockBoss has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Dick's Sporting Goods. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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