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Cabela's Income Up

Strong sales of footwear and guns contributed to increase.

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Shares of Cabela's Inc. were higher Thursday morning after increased gun sales helped it beat estimates.

For the first quarter ended March 30, the Sidney, Neb.-based firm’s net income surged 72.9 percent to $49.8 million, or 70 cents a share, from $28.8 million, or 40 cents, in the same period a year ago.

Total revenue advanced 28.7 percent to $802.5 million, from $623.5 million, on the back of a retail revenue increase of 41 percent. Analysts were expecting earnings per share to come in at 59 cents, on revenue of $772.4 million.

“In addition to expected increases in firearms and ammunition sales, we saw particularly strong performance in soft goods and footwear. Revenue increases in the latter part of March were stronger than anticipated,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO.

Comparable-store sales jumped 24 percent during the period. Excluding firearms and ammunition, comp-store sales increased 9 percent, the firm said.

Going forward, however, analysts predicted the large spike in gun sales will moderate, given the recent defeat in the U.S. Senate of the assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limitations, and universal background checks on gun purchases.

Cabela’s cash balance more than doubled to $363.7 million as of the end of the period, and long-term debt stood at $319.9 million.