BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORPORATION

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08/03BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORP Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (form 10-Q)
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08/02TRANSCRIPT : Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation, Q2 2022 Earnings Call, Aug 02, 2022
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08/02BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS : ANNOUNCES FISCAL 2022 SECOND QUARTER RESULTS - Form 8-K
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BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORP Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (form 10-Q)

05/04/2022 | 02:02pm EDT

The following discussion and analysis of the Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation ("we," "our," "us") financial condition and results of operations includes information with respect to our plans and strategies for our business and should be read in conjunction with our interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes ("Interim Financial Statements") included herein, the Risk Factors included herein and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and our consolidated financial statements, related notes, Risk Factors and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2022.

Our fiscal year ends on the Sunday nearest December 31. Fiscal 2022 is comprised of 52 weeks and ends on January 1, 2023. Fiscal 2021 was comprised of 52 weeks and ended on January 2, 2022. The interim periods in fiscal 2022 and 2021 are each comprised of 13 weeks.

Overview

We are a leading sporting goods retailer in the western United States, with 431 stores and an e-commerce platform under the name "Big 5 Sporting Goods" as of April 3, 2022. We provide a full-line product offering in a traditional sporting goods store format that averages approximately 11,000 square feet. Our product mix includes athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, as well as a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, home recreation, tennis, golf and winter and summer recreation.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 2021 we did not open or close any stores. For fiscal 2022, we anticipate opening approximately four new stores and closing approximately two stores.

Executive Summary

Net income decreased in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared with historically-high net income in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as a result of decreased net sales and increased selling and administrative expense, partially offset by the favorable impact of higher merchandise margins year over year. Decreases in net sales and earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 reflected comparison to the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which represented our highest first-quarter net sales and net income as a public company as a result of strong consumer demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. While earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 decreased from the prior year, net income remained healthy compared to pre-pandemic levels due mainly to a continuation of improved merchandise margins.

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 decreased 11.3% to $242.0 million compared to $272.8 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. The decrease in net sales reflects a decline of 11.4% in same store sales when compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2021, when same store sales increased by 31.8% over the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The same store sales increase achieved in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 reflected our then-highest quarterly same store sales increase as a public company. Our lower same store sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 reflected decreases across each of our major merchandise categories of hardgoods, apparel and footwear.

Gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 represented 35.5% of net sales, compared with 35.9% in the first quarter of the prior year. The decrease in gross profit margin primarily reflects higher store occupancy expense as a percentage of net sales, partially offset by higher merchandise margins, compared with the prior year.

Selling and administrative expense for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 increased 7.4% to $75.3 million, or 31.1% of net sales, compared to $70.1 million, or 25.7% of net sales, for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. The increase in selling and administrative expense primarily reflects increased employee labor and benefit-related expense year over year, along with the elimination of an employment agreement-related liability last year.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was $9.1 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, compared to net income of $21.5 million, or $0.96 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. The decreased earnings primarily reflect lower net sales and higher selling and administrative expense, partially offset by the favorable impact of higher merchandise margins year over year.

Operating cash flow for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was a negative $23.7 million compared to operating cash flow in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 of a positive $42.0 million. The decreased operating cash flow was due primarily to increased funding of merchandise inventory and a decrease in net income year over year, combined with decreased accrued expenses primarily related to company performance-based incentive accruals and income taxes.

Capital expenditures for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 increased to $2.9 million from $1.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. We expect to open approximately four new stores in fiscal 2022, after opening five new stores in the prior year.


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Cash and cash equivalents were $62.0 million, $97.4 million and $100.1 million as of April 3, 2022, January 2, 2022 and April 4, 2021, respectively. We have had no borrowings under our credit facility since the full pay-down of outstanding balances under the credit facility in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.

We paid cash dividends in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 of $6.1 million, or $0.25 per share, compared with $3.4 million, or $0.15 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

We repurchased 94,983 shares of common stock for $1.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

Results of Operations

The results of the interim periods are not necessarily indicative of results for the entire fiscal year.

13 Weeks Ended April 3, 2022 Compared to 13 Weeks Ended April 4, 2021

The following table sets forth selected items from our interim unaudited condensed consolidated statements of operations by dollar and as a percentage of our net sales for the periods indicated:

                                                         13 Weeks Ended
                                               April 3,                  April 4,
                                                 2022                      2021
                                                     (Dollars in thousands)
Net sales                                $ 241,981       100.0 %   $ 272,806       100.0 %
Cost of sales (1)                          156,048        64.5       174,913        64.1
Gross profit                                85,933        35.5        97,893        35.9
Selling and administrative expense (2)      75,317        31.1        70,144        25.7
Operating income                            10,616         4.4        27,749        10.2
Interest expense                               184         0.1           342         0.1
Income before income taxes                  10,432         4.3        27,407        10.1
Income tax expense                           1,329         0.5         5,861         2.1
Net income                               $   9,103         3.8 %   $  21,546         8.0 %




(1)

Cost of sales includes the cost of merchandise, net of discounts or allowances earned, freight, inventory reserves, buying, distribution center expense, including depreciation and amortization, and store occupancy expense. Store occupancy expense includes rent, amortization of leasehold improvements, common area maintenance, property taxes and insurance.

(2)

Selling and administrative expense includes store-related expense, other than store occupancy expense, as well as advertising, depreciation and amortization, expense associated with operating our corporate headquarters and impairment charges, if any.

Net Sales. Net sales decreased by $30.8 million, or 11.3%, to $242.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 from $272.8 million in the first quarter last year. The change in net sales reflected the following:

Same store sales decreased by $30.6 million, or 11.4%, for the 13 weeks ended April 3, 2022, versus the comparable 13-week period in the prior year. The decrease in same store sales reflected the following:


o

The decrease in same store sales compares to a 31.8% increase in same store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which at the time was our highest quarterly increase in same store sales as a public company. Sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 were impacted by unfavorable warm and dry winter weather conditions in our markets, as well as reduced customer traffic due to COVID-19 and product availability constraints resulting from ongoing supply chain disruptions.


o

The record increase in our same store sales achieved for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 resulted from strong consumer demand for many categories of sporting goods products last year as certain COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted, and also reflected favorable comparisons against temporary store closures related to COVID-19 in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.


o

Our lower same store sales reflected a decrease in each of our major merchandise categories of hardgoods, apparel and footwear.


o

Same store sales comparisons are made on a comparable-week basis. Same store sales for a period normally consist of sales for stores that operated throughout the period and the full corresponding prior-year period, along with sales from e-commerce. Same store sales comparisons exclude sales from stores permanently closed, or stores in the process of closing, during the comparable periods. Sales from e-commerce in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 2021 were not material.


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We experienced decreased customer transactions and a lower average sale per transaction in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the prior year.

The decrease in net sales was partially offset by a favorable calendar shift related to the Easter holiday, during which our stores are closed, from the first quarter in fiscal 2021 to the second quarter in fiscal 2022.

Gross Profit. Gross profit decreased by $12.0 million to $85.9 million, or 35.5% of net sales, in the 13 weeks ended April 3, 2022, compared with $97.9 million, or 35.9% of net sales, in the 13 weeks ended April 4, 2021. The change in gross profit was primarily attributable to the following:

Net sales decreased by $30.8 million, or 11.3%, compared with the first quarter of last year.

Store occupancy expense increased by $0.3 million, or 126 basis points as a percentage of net sales, compared with the first quarter of last year.

Merchandise margins, which exclude buying, occupancy and distribution expense, increased by a favorable 119 basis points compared with the first quarter of last year when merchandise margins increased by a favorable 350 basis points. Our continued strong merchandise margins primarily reflect favorable promotional pricing, a shift in our product sales mix and higher sales prices in response to increases in product purchase costs. The higher product purchase costs we are experiencing continue to reflect increased raw material, labor and freight costs initially resulting from shortages related to COVID-19. Shipping capacity constraints and labor shortages at the ports also continue to contribute to higher freight costs and are adversely impacting our ability to obtain sufficient quantities of certain products in our stores to meet customer demand.

Distribution expense, including costs capitalized into inventory, decreased by $1.4 million, but increased by an unfavorable 3 basis points as a percentage of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the prior year. The decrease primarily reflected increased costs capitalized into inventory, partially offset by higher freight-related expense.

Selling and Administrative Expense. Selling and administrative expense increased by $5.2 million to $75.3 million, or 31.1% of net sales, in the 13 weeks ended April 3, 2022, from $70.1 million, or 25.7% of net sales, in the first quarter last year. The change in selling and administrative expense was primarily attributable to the following:

Store-related expense, excluding occupancy, increased by $3.0 million due largely to increases in employee labor and benefit-related expense as well as various operating expenses to support our increased operating hours compared with the reduced store operating hours that we maintained in the prior year in response to the pandemic. While store operating hours were higher in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared with the same period last year, store operating hours remain below pre-pandemic levels. Higher labor expense for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 also reflected increased wage expense as a result of higher demand for labor in many of our markets, and these wage pressures continue to reflect the incremental impact of legislated minimum wage rate increases primarily in California, where over fifty percent of our stores are located. In California, state-wide minimum wage rates have risen from $10.00 per hour in 2017 to $15.00 per hour in 2022. Additionally, certain other jurisdictions within California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as various other states in which we do business, are implementing their own scheduled increases, which may also include interim impacts effective at various points throughout the year. We estimate that the impact of the California state-wide minimum wage rate increase, combined with the impact of the additional minimum wage rate increases in certain other jurisdictions within California and other states, caused our labor expense to increase by approximately $0.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Administrative expense increased by $1.8 million, primarily attributable to an increase in employee labor and benefit-related expense in the current year and the elimination of an employment agreement-related liability in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, partially offset by a decrease in company performance-based incentive accruals in the current year.

Our advertising expense increased by $0.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 due mainly to higher digital advertising in comparison to the prior year. Despite this year-over-year increase, our expenses continue to benefit from significantly reduced advertising activity that resulted from initial measures we took in response to COVID-19 in fiscal 2020. We expect our expenses to continue to benefit from reduced advertising activity in the foreseeable future as we continue to evaluate the impact on our sales.

Interest Expense. Interest expense decreased by $0.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021.


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Income Taxes. The provision for income taxes decreased to $1.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 from $5.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, primarily reflecting lower pre-tax income in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Our effective tax rate was 12.7% for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 21.4% for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Our lower effective tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 reflected a higher tax deduction related to share-based compensation combined with lower pretax income.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our principal liquidity requirements are for working capital, capital expenditures and cash dividends. We fund our liquidity requirements primarily through cash and cash equivalents on hand, cash flows from operations and borrowings from the revolving credit facility, when necessary.


As of April 3, 2022, we had $62.0 million of cash and cash equivalents compared
to $100.1 million of cash and cash equivalents as of April 4, 2021. Our cash
flows from operating, investing and financing activities are summarized as
follows:

                                                           13 Weeks Ended
                                                       April 3,      April 4,
                                                         2022          2021
                                                           (In thousands)
Total cash (used in) provided by:
Operating activities                                   $ (23,717 )   $  41,974
Investing activities                                      (2,926 )      (1,493 )
Financing activities                                      (8,739 )      (5,038 )

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents $ (35,382 ) $ 35,443

Operating Activities. Operating cash flows for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 2021 were a negative $23.7 million and a positive $42.0 million, respectively. The decreased cash flow provided by operating activities for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the prior year primarily reflects increased funding of merchandise inventory, decreased net income, decreased accrued expenses primarily related to performance-based incentive accruals and income taxes, and smaller decreases in credit card receivables.

Investing Activities. Net cash used in investing activities for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 2021 was $2.9 million and $1.5 million, respectively. Capital expenditures, excluding non-cash acquisitions, represented substantially all of the cash used in investing activities for each period. In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, capital expenditures of $1.7 million were partially offset by a portion of settlement proceeds related to a civil unrest insurance recovery of $0.2 million. Capital expenditures for both periods primarily reflect store-related remodeling, distribution center investments and computer hardware and software purchases.

Financing Activities. Financing cash flows for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 2021 were a negative $8.7 million and a negative $5.0 million, respectively. For the first quarter of fiscal 2022, net cash was used primarily to fund dividend payments, purchase treasury stock and make principal payments on finance lease liabilities. For the first quarter of fiscal 2021, net cash was used primarily to fund dividend payments, make principal payments on finance lease liabilities and pay debt issuance costs, partially offset by proceeds received from the exercise of employee share option awards. The change in cash flow from financing activities for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to last year primarily reflects an increase in the quarterly dividend rate declared and paid in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

As of April 3, 2022, January 2, 2022 and April 4, 2021, we had no revolving credit borrowings and $1.1 million of letter of credit commitments outstanding.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, second quarter of fiscal 2021, third quarter of fiscal 2021 and fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 our Board of Directors declared quarterly cash dividends of $0.15 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.18 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock and $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, respectively. Additionally, in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 and fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared special cash dividends of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, and in the second quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on June 15, 2022 to stockholders of record as of June 1, 2022.


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Periodically, we repurchase our common stock in the open market pursuant to programs approved by our Board of Directors. We may repurchase our common stock for a variety of reasons, including, among other things, our alternative cash requirements, existing business conditions and the current market price of our stock. In fiscal 2016, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program for the purchase of up to $25.0 million of our common stock, which was in effect through the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and under which a total of $7.7 million remained available for share repurchases as of January 2, 2022. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $25.0 million of our common stock, which replaced the previous share repurchase program. Under this program, we may purchase shares from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, the timing and amount of such purchases, if any, would be at the discretion of our management and Board of Directors, and would depend on market conditions and other considerations. We repurchased 94,983 shares of common stock in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 pursuant to our new share repurchase program. We did not repurchase any shares of common stock in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Since the inception of our initial share repurchase program in May 2006 through April 3, 2022, we have repurchased a total of 3,985,278 shares for $51.0 million.

Loan Agreement. As of January 3, 2021, we had a credit agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association ("Wells Fargo"), as administrative agent, and a syndicate of other lenders, as amended (the "Prior Credit Agreement"), which was terminated and replaced on February 24, 2021 as discussed below.

On February 24, 2021, we terminated the Prior Credit Agreement and entered into a Loan, Guaranty and Security agreement with Bank of America, N.A. ("BofA"), as agent and lender, which was amended on November 22, 2021 (as so amended, the "Loan Agreement"). The Loan Agreement has a maturity date of February 24, 2026 and provides for a revolving credit facility with an aggregate committed availability of up to $150.0 million. We may also request additional increases in aggregate availability, up to a maximum of $200.0 million, in which case the existing lender under the Loan Agreement will have the option to increase their commitment to accommodate the requested increase. If the lender does not exercise that option, we may (with the consent of BofA in its role as the administrative agent, not to be unreasonably withheld) seek other lenders willing to provide such commitments. The credit facility includes a $50.0 million sublimit for issuances of letters of credit.

Similar to the Prior Credit Agreement, we may borrow under the Loan Agreement from time to time, provided the amounts outstanding will not exceed the lesser of the then aggregate committed availability (as discussed above) and the Borrowing Base (such lesser amount being referred to as the "Line Cap"). As defined in the Loan Agreement, the "Borrowing Base" generally is comprised of the sum, at the time of calculation, of (a) 90.00% of eligible credit card receivables; plus (b) the cost of eligible inventory (other than eligible in-transit inventory), net of inventory reserves, multiplied by 90.00% of the appraised net orderly liquidation value of eligible inventory (expressed as a percentage of the cost of eligible inventory); plus (c) the cost of eligible in-transit inventory, net of inventory reserves, multiplied by 90.00% of the appraised net orderly liquidation value of eligible in-transit inventory (expressed as a percentage of the cost of eligible in-transit inventory), minus (d) certain agreed-upon reserves as well as other reserves established by BofA in its role as the administrative agent in its reasonable discretion.

Generally, we may designate specific borrowings under the Loan Agreement as either base rate loans or LIBO rate loans. The applicable interest rate on our borrowings is a function of the daily average, over the preceding fiscal quarter, of the excess of the Line Cap over amounts borrowed (such amount being referred to as the "Average Daily Availability"). Those loans designated as LIBO rate loans bear interest at a rate equal to the then applicable adjusted LIBO rate plus an applicable margin as shown in the table below. Those loans designated as base rate loans bear interest at a rate equal to the applicable margin for base rate loans (as shown below) plus the highest of (a) the Federal funds rate, as in effect from time to time, plus one-half of one percent (0.50%), (b) the LIBO rate, plus one percentage point (1.00%), or (c) the rate of interest in effect for such day as announced from time to time within BofA as its "prime rate." As amended, the Loan Agreement provides for a transition to an alternative benchmark reference rate following the cessation of the LIBO rate. The applicable margin for all loans will be a function of Average Daily Availability for the preceding fiscal quarter as set forth below.

                                                   LIBO Rate           Base Rate
Level        Average Daily Availability        Applicable Margin   Applicable Margin
  I     Greater than or equal to $70,000,000        1.375%              0.375%
 II            Less than $70,000,000                1.500%              0.500%

The commitment fee assessed on the unused portion of the credit facility is 0.20% per annum.


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Obligations under the Loan Agreement are secured by a general lien on and security interest in substantially all of our assets. The Loan Agreement contains covenants that require us to maintain a fixed charge coverage ratio of not less than 1.0:1.0 in certain circumstances, and limits the ability to, among other things, incur liens, incur additional indebtedness, transfer or dispose of assets, change the nature of the business, guarantee obligations, pay dividends or make other distributions or repurchase stock, and make advances, loans or investments. We may generally declare or pay cash dividends or repurchase stock only if, among other things, no default or event of default then exists or would arise from such dividend or repurchase of stock and, after giving effect to such dividend or repurchase, certain availability and/or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements are satisfied, although we are permitted to make up to $5.0 million of dividend payments or stock repurchases per year without satisfaction of the availability or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements, but dividends or stock repurchases made without satisfying the availability and/or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements will require the establishment of an additional reserve that will reduce borrowing availability under the Loan Agreement for 75 days. The Loan Agreement contains customary events of default, including, without limitation, failure to pay when due principal amounts with respect to the credit facility, failure to pay any interest or other amounts under the credit facility, failure to comply with certain agreements or covenants contained in the Loan Agreement, failure to satisfy certain judgments against us, failure to pay when due (or any other default which permits the acceleration of) certain other material indebtedness in principal amount in excess of $5.0 million, and certain insolvency and bankruptcy events.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, we paid and capitalized $0.7 million in new creditor and third-party fees associated with the Loan Agreement, which will be amortized over the term of the Loan Agreement, and extinguished $0.2 million of deferred financing fees associated with the Prior Credit Agreement.

Future Capital Requirements. We had cash and cash equivalents on hand of $62.0 million as of April 3, 2022. We expect capital expenditures for fiscal 2022, excluding non-cash acquisitions, to range from approximately $14.0 million to $18.0 million primarily to fund the opening of new stores, store-related remodeling, distribution center investments and computer hardware and software purchases. For fiscal 2022, we anticipate opening approximately four new stores and closing approximately two stores.

Dividends are paid at the discretion of our Board of Directors. In fiscal 2021 we paid cash dividends of $2.83 per share of outstanding common stock. Dividends declared in fiscal 2021 included special dividends totaling $2.00 per share of outstanding common stock. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, and in the second quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on June 15, 2022 to stockholders of record as of June 1, 2022.

As of April 3, 2022, a total of $23.4 million remained available for share repurchases under our new share repurchase program. We repurchased 94,983 shares of our common stock in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and did not repurchase any shares of our common stock in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. We consider several factors in determining when and if we make share repurchases including, among other things, our alternative cash requirements, existing business conditions and the market price of our stock.

We believe we will be able to fund our cash requirements from cash and cash equivalents on hand, operating cash flows and borrowings from our credit facility, for at least the next 12 months.

Contractual Obligations. Our material contractual obligations include operating lease commitments associated with our leased properties and other occupancy expense, finance lease obligations, borrowings under the credit facility, if any, and other liabilities. Operating lease commitments consist principally of leases for our retail store facilities, distribution center and corporate offices. These leases frequently include options which permit us to extend the terms beyond the initial fixed lease term, and we intend to renegotiate most of these leases as they expire. Operating lease commitments also consist of information technology ("IT") systems hardware, distribution center delivery tractors and equipment. Additional information regarding our operating and finance leases is available in Notes 2 and 5 to the Interim Financial Statements included in Part I, Item 1, Financial Statements, of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and 2021, we had no borrowings under our revolving credit facility. Our zero borrowings reflect improved profitability and positive operating cash flow from increased consumer demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the ordinary course of business, we enter into arrangements with vendors to purchase merchandise in advance of expected delivery. Because most of these purchase orders do not contain any termination payments or other penalties if cancelled, they are not included as outstanding contractual obligations.


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Critical Accounting Estimates

As discussed in Part II, Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2022, we consider our estimates on valuation of merchandise inventory to be among the most critical in understanding the judgments that are involved in preparing our consolidated financial statements. There have been no significant changes to these estimates in the 13 weeks ended April 3, 2022.

Seasonality and Impact of Inflation

We experience seasonal fluctuations in our net sales and operating results, which can suffer when weather does not conform to seasonal norms, such as the first quarter of fiscal 2022 when we experienced warm and dry winter-weather conditions across our markets. Seasonality in our net sales influences our buying patterns which directly impacts our merchandise and accounts payable levels and cash flows. We purchase merchandise for seasonal activities in advance of a season and supplement our merchandise assortment as necessary and when possible during the season. Our efforts to replenish products during a season are not always successful. In the fourth fiscal quarter, which includes the holiday selling season and the start of the winter selling season, we normally experience higher inventory purchase volumes and increased expense for staffing and advertising. If we miscalculate the consumer demand for our products generally or for our product mix in advance of a season, particularly the fourth quarter, our net sales can decline, which can harm our financial performance. A significant shortfall from expected net sales, particularly during the fourth quarter, can negatively impact our annual operating results.

In fiscal 2021 and the first quarter of fiscal 2022, we experienced greater inflation in the cost of products that we purchase for resale as well as higher freight costs than in previous years. While our merchandise inventory costs have been impacted by these inflationary pressures, up to this point we have generally been able to adjust our selling prices in response to these higher product purchase costs. However, if we are unable to continue to adjust our selling prices for product purchase cost increases that might occur in the future, then our merchandise margins could decline, which would adversely impact our operating results. In fiscal 2021 and the first quarter of fiscal 2022, we also experienced increased wage expense as a result of higher demand for labor in many of our markets.

Recently Issued Accounting Updates

See Note 2 to the Interim Financial Statements included in Part I, Item 1, Financial Statements, of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Forward-Looking Statements

This document includes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, our financial condition, our results of operations, our growth strategy and the business of our company generally. In some cases, you can identify such statements by terminology such as "may," "could," "project," "estimate," "potential," "continue," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "intends" or other such terminology. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results in current or future periods to change significantly and differ materially from forecasted results. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the economic impacts of COVID-19, including any potential variants, on our business operations, including as a result of regulations that may be issued in response to COVID-19, changes in the consumer spending environment, fluctuations in consumer holiday spending patterns, increased competition from e-commerce retailers, breach of data security or other unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal or confidential information, the competitive environment in the sporting goods industry in general and in our specific market areas, inflation, product availability and growth opportunities, changes in the current market for (or regulation of) firearm-related products, a reduction or loss of product from a key supplier, disruption in product flow, seasonal fluctuations, weather conditions, changes in cost of goods, operating expense fluctuations, increases in labor and benefit-related expense, changes in laws or regulations, including those related to tariffs and duties, public health issues (including those caused by COVID-19 or any potential variants), impacts from civil unrest or widespread vandalism, lower than expected profitability of our e-commerce platform or cannibalization of sales from our existing store base which could occur as a result of operating the e-commerce platform, litigation risks, stockholder campaigns and proxy contests, risks related to our historically leveraged financial condition, changes in interest rates, credit availability, higher expense associated with sources of credit resulting from uncertainty in financial markets and economic conditions in general. Those and other risks and uncertainties are more fully described in Part II, Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this report and in Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC. We caution that the risk factors set forth in this report and the other reports that we file with the SEC are not exclusive. In addition, we conduct our business in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. Accordingly, new risk factors may arise. It is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor to assess the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any individual risk factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.


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