Cabela's fourth quarter earnings were lower than expected as same-store sales fell 6.5 percent compared with a year ago

Cabela's stock price continued its decline Thursday after the Sidney-based outdoors retailer reported fourth-quarter financial results that were worse that expected.

Cabela's said it earned $58.1 million, or 84 cents a share, down from $78.8 million, or $1.14 a share, a year earlier. Excluding charges, adjusted per-share earnings were $1.05, compared with $1.26 a year ago.

Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.22 a share, and Cabela's stock price fell more than 5 percent, closing at $46.09 a share.

After rising more than 25 percent last year on the strength of its proposed $4.5 billion merger with Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's stock is now down about more than 20 percent since the start of the year, largely due to the fact that the deal has hit snags.

The Federal Trade Commission asked both companies for more information about the deal, and Capital One, which was supposed to buy Cabela's Lincoln-based credit card operation for around $200 million, has said it will likely not be able to get regulatory approval for the deal before the Oct. 3 deadline to finalize the sale.

Cabela's did not address the Bass Pro sale in the news release announcing its earnings, and it has stopped holding conference calls to discuss its results with financial analysts.

One analyst said Thursday that he still expects the deal to go through under the original terms of $65.50 a share, although it may take longer than originally planned.

However, Efraim Levy, an equity analyst with CFRA Research, said if the price could be be lower if the deal has to be adjusted to gain regulatory approval. If the deal does no go through, Levy said an appropriate price for the stock is $46 a share.

In addressing Cabela's fourth-quarter performance, CEO Tommy Millner said he was "clearly disappointed" with the results.

Same-store sales fell 6.5 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2015, overall sales fell 4.3 percent and revenue was down 4.9 percent.

The one bright spot continued to be the performance of World's Foremost Bank. Revenue at the Lincoln-based credit card operation increased 1.2 percent compared with a year ago, although rising delinquency rates caused the company to have to add $15.8 million to its loan-loss reserve in the fourth quarter.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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