After initially suffering through the early part of the recession Cabela's Inc. (NYSE:CAB) reported a positive same store sales increase for the fourth quarter ended December 27, 2008. This proves there is at least one retailer in America that is making its way through the recession and credit crisis in decent condition.

IN PICTURES: 10 Tips For Choosing An Online Broker

Cabela's is a specialty retailer and direct marketer of hunting, fishing, camping and outdoor equipment. The company has 29 retail locations across the U.S., and one in Canada. Some of its store locations are behemoths with the largest at 247,000 square feet.

Cabela's reported net income of $49.4 million (74 cents per share) for the fourth quarter. Same store sales were up 2.2%, and the company indicated that positive same store sales growth continued in January and February 2009. This was in sharp contrast to the third quarter when the company saw a drop of 9.0% in same store sales.

Not All Good News
The direct channel saw a large revenue drop of 8.2%. Since there are no same store sales in the direct channel, we can only take this news on its face value, which are customers scaling back on discretionary purchases.

Cabela's started life as a catalogue company in the early 1960s, and did not open its first retail outlet until 1987. It started offering products online in the late 1990s when the internet became commercial. In the fourth quarter, its revenues are currently split equally between the direct and retail channel.

There are also some quirky parts of Cabela's. The company owns a banking subsidiary called the World's Foremost Bank, which the company uses to offer a Cabela's branded Visa card to its customers. The company also holds an inventory of hunting properties on its balance sheet that it offers for sale on its website. (Learn more on this industry in Economic Indicators: Retail Sales Report.)

The retail sector has had one of the worst performances during the bear market due to investor concern about the exhaustion of the American consumer. The S&P Retail SPDR (NYSE:XRT) is down 43% from its 52 week high, and several retailers have gone bankrupt including CircuitCity. Another retailer that has shown some sales strength in the last quarter was Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), which reported same store sales up 2.1% in its first fiscal quarter. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has also held up well as shoppers flocked to the retailer to save on food and other costs. The company reported that same store sales were up by 1.7% company wide excluding fuel purchases in the quarter ending January 31, 2009.

The market may have pronounced the death of retail, but there are some rays of hope shining through as Cabela's reported positive same store sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2008, and the first two months of 2009. This retailer may be one of the companies that make it through stronger to the other side of the abyss.

To analyze retail stocks, investors need to be aware of the most common metrics used, learn them in Analyzing Retail Stocks.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares UltraPro Nasdaq Biotech

    Obtain information about an ETF offerings that provides leveraged exposure to the biotechnology industry, the ProShares UltraPro Nasdaq Biotech Fund.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI Europe Financials

    Learn about the iShares MSCI Europe Financials fund, which invests in numerous European financial industries, such as banks, insurance and real estate.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR S&P Insurance

    Learn about the SPDR S&P Insurance exchange-traded fund, which follows the S&P Insurance Select Industry Index by investing in equities of U.S. insurers.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap

    Learn about the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap exchange-traded fund, which invests in small-cap firms traded at the emerging equity markets.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ETFS Physical Platinum

    Learn about the physical platinum ETF. Platinum embarked on a bull market from 2001 to 2011, climbing to record prices along with other precious metals.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI Turkey

    Learn about the iShares MSCI Turkey exchange-traded fund, which invests in a wide variety of companies' equities traded on Turkish exchanges.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF, and learn detailed information about characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Guggenheim Enhanced Short Dur

    Find out about the Guggenheim Enhanced Short Duration ETF, and learn detailed information about this fund that focuses on fixed-income securities.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares US Oil&Gas Explor&Prodtn

    Learn about the iShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF, which provides an efficient way to invest in the exploration and production sector.
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

    A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets ...
  3. The New Deal

    A series of domestic programs designed to help the United States ...
  4. Exchange-Traded Mutual Funds (ETMF)

    Investopedia explains the definition of exchange-traded mutual ...
  5. Hard-To-Sell Asset

    An asset that is extremely difficult to dispose of either due ...
  6. Sucker Yield

    When an investor has essentially risked all of his capital for ...
  1. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does index trading increase market vulnerability?

    The rise of index trading may increase the overall vulnerability of the stock market due to increased correlations between ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!