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Press Release
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Hastings Entertainment, Inc. Reports Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2010

- Total comparable store revenues increased 4.9% for the quarter, with merchandise comparable store revenues increasing 6.3%.
- Net earnings of $0.11 per diluted share compared to analyst estimate of $0.07 per diluted share.
- Free cash flow for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 of $8.5 million.
- Long term debt of $26.4 million at April 30, 2010 compared to $35.3 million at April 30, 2009.

AMARILLO, Texas, May 17, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Hastings Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAST), a leading multimedia entertainment retailer, today reported results for the three months ended April 30, 2010. Net earnings were approximately $1.0 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 compared to net earnings of approximately $1.7 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 included revenue of approximately $0.2 million related to gift card breakage. Hastings began recognizing gift card breakage revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

Both operating income and adjusted operating income for the first quarter were approximately $1.5 million as compared to approximately $3.1 million in the first quarter of the prior year. Adjusted operating income excludes gift card breakage revenue and stock compensation expense. Earnings before interest, taxes, property and equipment depreciation expense and amortization ("EBITDA") was approximately $5.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 as compared to approximately $8.0 million for the same period in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes gift card breakage revenue and stock compensation expense, was approximately $5.8 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 compared to approximately $8.0 million for the same period in the prior year.

Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the tables following the financial statements in this release.

"We are pleased with our comparable store revenue increase of 4.9%," said John Marmaduke, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. "Consumer spending has increased and we are cautiously optimistic about future revenue growth as the economy improves. Our new rental pricing strategy continues to drive growth in rental units which were up 9.7% for the first quarter. However, our rental unit increase was not enough to offset our lower price points. During the first quarter we have seen over sixty competitor store closings in our markets. Over the long-term this will have a positive impact on our rental revenues. Short-term, we are seeing a negative impact due to the majority of these stores running going out of business sales. With the recent announcement of the liquidation of a major chain we are excited about the future of our rental business as we continue to test various pricing strategies."

Financial Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2010

Revenues. Total revenues for the first quarter increased approximately $3.4 million, or 2.7%, to $129.1 million compared to $125.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Excluding gift card breakage revenue, total revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 increased approximately $3.2 million, or 2.5%. Comparable store sales, which exclude gift card breakage revenue, increased approximately 4.9%. The following is a summary of our revenues results (dollars in thousands):





                                 Three Months Ended April 30,
                                          2010                    2009
                                          ----                    ----
                                      Percent                 Percent
                                         Of                       Of
                        Revenues        Total       Revenues    Total
                        --------      --------      --------  --------
    Merchandise
     Revenue            $108,125          83.8%      $104,096     82.8%
    Rental Revenue        20,779          16.1%        21,597     17.2%
    Gift Card Breakage       194           0.1%             -      0.0%
       Revenue               ---           ---            ---      ---
         Total Revenues $129,098         100.0%      $125,693    100.0%
                        ========         =====       ========    =====




                                     Increase
                                    (Decrease)
                                      ----------
                              Dollar       Percent
                              ------       -------
    Merchandise
     Revenue                   $4,029          3.9%
    Rental Revenue               (818)        -3.8%
    Gift Card Breakage            194            -
       Revenue                    ---          ---
         Total Revenues        $3,405          2.7%
                               ======          ===


    Comparable-store revenues ("Comp")


         Total                        4.9%
         Merchandise                  6.3%
         Rental                      -1.7%


Below is a summary of the Comp results for our major merchandise categories:




                                   Three Months Ended
                                        April 30,
                                    2010           2009
                                    ----           ----
    Video Games                     25.2%         -10.4%
    Hardback Cafe                   15.6%           8.5%
    Movies                          11.1%          -5.7%
    Consumables                      9.4%           4.5%
    Trends                           8.9%           6.0%
    Electronics                      4.1%           2.2%
    Books                           -1.2%          -0.2%
    Music                           -4.8%         -15.2%



Prior year Comp sales have been revised to reflect current year classification of Comp sale categories. Video Game Comps increased 25.2% for the quarter, primarily due to strong sales of new and used video games for the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and XBOX 360 platforms and increased video game hardware and accessory sales, partially offset by lower sales of older generation video games. Titles that helped drive sales during the quarter included God of War 3, Heavy Rain, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Final Fantasy XIII, and Dante's Inferno. Hardback Cafe Comps increased 15.6% for the quarter, resulting from increased sales of specialty cafe drinks. Movie Comps increased 11.1% for the quarter, primarily resulting from increased sales of new and used Blu-ray DVDs, DVD boxed sets, and used DVDs. Consumables Comps increased 9.4% for the quarter, primarily due to strong sales of novelty drinks and fountain drinks. Trends Comps increased 8.9% for the quarter, primarily due to strong sales of "As Seen on TV" products such as the Kymaro and the Big Top Cupcake, strong sales of Hex Bugs, and an increase in sales of action figures, driven primarily by an increase in action figures sold over the internet. The increases were partially offset by lower sales of apparel products, including t-shirts and jewelry. Electronics Comps increased 4.1% for the quarter primarily due to strong sales of new and refurbished iPods, MP3 players, and related accessories including headphones, partially offset by lower sales of digital converter boxes. Book Comps decreased 1.2% for the quarter, primarily due to decreased sales of new trade paperbacks and hardbacks, partially offset by an increase in sales of used trade paperbacks and hardbacks. Sales of new hardbacks and trade paperbacks faced a challenging comparison due to strong sales of books from Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga series during fiscal 2009. Excluding The Twilight Saga series sales, book Comps for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 would have increased 3.2%. Strong performers during the quarter included young readers titles Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan and Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, and cooking titles Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond, Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood by Trisha Yearwood, and Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer. Music Comps decreased 4.8% for the quarter due to lower sales of new and used CDs, resulting directly from a continued industry decline as well as a reduced footprint in twenty-seven stores. Merchandise Comps, excluding the sale of new music, increased 8.2% for the quarter.

Rental Comps decreased 1.7% for the first quarter, primarily due to lower price points, partially offset by fewer promotions offered during the current quarter. Units rented increased approximately 9.7% for the quarter as compared to the prior year. Rental Video Game Comps decreased 2.7% for the period, while Rental Movie Comps decreased 1.3%.

Gross Profit - Merchandise. For the first quarter, total merchandise gross profit dollars increased approximately $0.6 million, or 1.8%, to $33.7 million from $33.1 million for the same period in the prior year, primarily due to higher revenues, partially offset by decreased margin rates. Lower margin rates were partially due to a significant increase in products sold through our proprietary goShip program on the internet that had lower margins than products sold at the stores. As a percentage of total merchandise revenue, merchandise gross profit decreased to 31.2% for the quarter compared to 31.8% for the same period in the prior year, resulting from increased freight costs and shrinkage, partially offset by lower markdown expense. Increased freight costs resulted from increased shipments related to our goShip program.

Gross Profit - Rental. For the first quarter, total rental gross profit dollars decreased approximately $0.8 million, or 5.8%, to $13.1 million from $13.9 million for the same period in the prior year primarily due to lower rental revenues. As a percentage of total rental revenue, rental gross profit decreased to 62.9% for the quarter compared to 64.3% for the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of lower rental revenue as well as increased shrinkage.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses ("SG&A"). As a percentage of total revenue, SG&A increased to 35.2% for the first quarter compared to 34.9% for the same quarter in the prior year. SG&A increased approximately $1.5 million, or 3.4%, to $45.4 million compared to $43.9 million for the same quarter last year primarily as a result of increased store advertising costs along with increased associate benefit costs (primarily increases in associate health insurance and workers compensation insurance), partially offset by lower depreciation expense.

Interest Expense. For the first quarter, interest expense decreased approximately $0.2 million, or 66.7%, to $0.1 million, compared to $0.3 million for the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of lower interest rates and lower average debt levels outstanding during the period. The average rate of interest charged for the quarter decreased to 1.9% compared to 3.0% for the same period in the prior year.

Income Tax Expense. During the three months ended April 30, 2010, the Company recorded a discrete tax benefit of approximately $0.2 million related to amended state returns resulting from an IRS audit of the Company's previously filed Federal tax returns. No discrete tax items were recorded during the three months ended April 30, 2009. Primarily as a result of this discrete tax benefit, the effective tax rate for the three months ended April 30, 2010 decreased to 28.3% compared to 39.4% for the same period in the prior year.

Stock Repurchase

On September 18, 2001, we announced a stock repurchase program of up to $5.0 million of our common stock. To date, the Board of Directors has approved increases in the program totaling $22.5 million. During the first quarter of fiscal 2010, we purchased a total of 189,500 shares of common stock at a cost of $955,394, or $5.04 per share. As of April 30, 2010, a total of 3,928,345 shares had been repurchased under the program at a cost of approximately $23.8 million, for an average cost of approximately $6.07 per share. As of April 30, 2010, approximately $3.5 million remained available under the stock repurchase program.

Store Activity

Since March 22, 2010, which was the last date we reported store activity, we have not opened or closed any additional stores.

Fiscal Year 2010 Guidance

"Net earnings for the quarter were better than our internal forecast, which is the basis for our guidance," said Dan Crow, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "Due to continued uncertainty in the retail environment, particularly with respect to the holiday selling season, we are not changing our guidance for the full fiscal year. Consequently, we are reaffirming our guidance of net earnings per share ranging from $0.32 to $0.37 for the full fiscal year ended January 31, 2011."

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements." Hastings Entertainment, Inc. is including this statement for the express purpose of availing itself of the protections of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to all such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available information and represent the beliefs of the management of the Company. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks include, but are not limited to, consumer appeal of our existing and planned product offerings, and the related impact of competitor pricing and product offerings; overall industry performance and the accuracy of our estimates and judgments regarding trends; our ability to obtain favorable terms from suppliers; our ability to respond to changing consumer preferences, including with respect to new technologies and alternative methods of content delivery, and to effectively adjust our offerings if and as necessary; the application and impact of future accounting policies or interpretations of existing accounting policies; unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects; the effects of a continued deterioration in economic conditions in the U.S. or the markets in which we operate our stores; and other factors which may be outside of the company's control. We undertake no obligation to affirm, publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Please refer to the company's annual, quarterly, and periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more detailed discussion of these and other risks that could cause results to differ materially.

About Hastings

Founded in 1968, Hastings Entertainment, Inc. is a leading multimedia entertainment retailer that combines the sale of new and used books, videos, video games and CDs, as well as trends merchandise, with the rental of videos and video games in a superstore format. We currently operate 147 superstores, averaging approximately 24,000 square feet, primarily in medium-sized markets throughout the United States.

We also operate www.gohastings.com, an e-commerce Internet Web site that makes available to our customers new and used entertainment products and unique, contemporary gifts and toys. The site features exceptional product and pricing offers. The Investor Relations section of our web site contains press releases, a link to request financial and other literature and access our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


                             Consolidated Balance Sheets
                             ---------------------------
                                (Dollars in thousands)

                                                                  January
                                         April 30,    April 30,      31,
                                               2010         2009      2010
                                               ----         ----      ----
                                        (unaudited)  (unaudited)

                      Assets
    Current Assets
       Cash and cash equivalents             $4,620       $3,754    $8,863
       Merchandise inventories, net         152,804      150,917   148,149
       Deferred income taxes                  6,777       10,660     7,804
       Prepaid expenses and other
        current assets                        9,364       10,791    10,120
                                              -----       ------    ------
             Total current assets           173,565      176,122   174,936

    Rental assets, net                       13,432       13,295    13,127
    Property and equipment, net              45,616       54,620    47,695
    Deferred income taxes                     2,974        3,461     1,310
    Intangible assets, net                      391          391       391
    Other assets                              1,366        1,051     1,341
                                              -----        -----     -----

    Total assets                           $237,344     $248,940  $238,800
                                           ========     ========  ========

          Liabilities and Shareholders'
                      Equity
    Current liabilities
       Trade accounts payable               $69,973      $69,919   $58,068
       Accrued expenses and other
        liabilities                          26,177       34,479    28,128
                                             ------       ------    ------
             Total current liabilities       96,150      104,398    86,196

    Long-term debt, excluding
     current maturities                      26,435       35,270    38,174
    Other liabilities                         6,262        5,551     6,272

    Shareholders' equity
       Preferred stock                            -            -         -
       Common stock                             119          119       119
       Additional paid-in capital            36,978       36,702    36,920
       Retained earnings                     87,902       81,653    86,884
       Accumulated other
        comprehensive income (loss)              68          (41)       37
       Treasury stock, at cost              (16,570)     (14,712)  (15,802)
                                            -------      -------   -------
             Total shareholders' equity     108,497      103,721   108,158
                                            -------      -------   -------

    Total liabilities and
     shareholders' equity                  $237,344     $248,940  $238,800
                                           ========     ========  ========



                     Consolidated Statements of Earnings
                     -----------------------------------
                    (In thousands, except per share data)


                                             Three months ended
                                                  April 30,
                                                2010              2009
                                                ----              ----
                                         (unaudited)       (unaudited)

    Merchandise revenue                     $108,125          $104,096
    Rental revenue                            20,779            21,597
    Gift card breakage revenue                   194                 -
       Total revenues                        129,098           125,693
                                              74,426            70,994
    Merchandise cost of revenue
    Rental cost of revenue                     7,705             7,713
                                               -----             -----
       Total cost of revenues                 82,131            78,707
                                              ------            ------
                                              46,967            46,986
       Gross profit
                                              45,436            43,898
    Selling, general and administrative
     expenses
    Pre-opening expenses                           -                 2
                                                 ---               ---
                                               1,531             3,086
       Operating income

    Other income (expense):
       Interest expense, net                    (132)             (295)
       Other, net                                 20                18
                                                 ---               ---
                                               1,419             2,809
       Income before income taxes
                                                 401             1,107
    Income tax expense                           ---             -----
                                              $1,018            $1,702
       Net income                             ======            ======
                                               $0.11             $0.17
    Basic income per share                     =====             =====
                                               $0.11             $0.17
    Diluted income per share                   =====             =====


    Weighted-average common shares
       outstanding:
         Basic                                 9,432             9,729
         Dilutive effect of stock awards         236                29
                                                 ---               ---
                                               9,668             9,758
         Diluted                               =====             =====



                    Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                    -------------------------------------
                            (Dollars in thousands)


                                                For the Three Months
                                                  Ended April 30,
                                                  2010              2009
                                                  ----              ----
                                           (unaudited)       (unaudited)
    Cash flows from operating
     activities:
     Net income                                 $1,018            $1,702
     Adjustments to reconcile net
      income to net
       cash provided by operations:
        Rental asset depreciation
         expense                                 2,654             3,610
         Purchases of rental assets             (5,980)           (4,459)
         Property and equipment
          depreciation expense                   4,321             4,850
         Deferred income taxes                    (637)             (507)
         Loss on rental assets lost,
          stolen and defective                     470               202
         Loss on disposal of other
          assets                                    19               169
         Non-cash stock-based
          compensation                             143                51

      Changes in operating assets
       and liabilities:
         Merchandise inventories                (2,105)             (145)
         Other current assets                      756               433
         Trade accounts payable                 12,092            12,775
         Accrued expenses and other
          liabilities                           (1,951)           (6,135)
         Other assets and liabilities,
          net                                       (4)              823
                                                   ---               ---
            Net cash provided by operating
             activities                         10,796            13,369
                                                ------            ------

    Cash flows from investing
     activities:
        Purchases of property,
         equipment and improvements             (2,260)           (3,054)
                                                ------            ------
            Net cash used in investing
             activities                         (2,260)           (3,054)
                                                ------            ------

    Cash flows from financing
     activities:
        Net repayments under revolving
         credit facility                       (11,739)           (9,237)
        Purchase of treasury stock                (959)              (94)
        Change in cash overdraft                  (187)           (4,679)
        Proceeds from exercise of
         stock options                             106                 -
            Net cash used in financing
             activities                        (12,779)          (14,010)
                                               -------           -------
                                                (4,243)           (3,695)
    Net decrease in cash
                                                 8,863             7,449
    Cash at beginning of period                  -----             -----
                                                $4,620            $3,754
    Cash at end of period                       ======            ======



              Balance Sheet and Other Ratios ( A )
              ------------------------------------
        (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)


                                              April         April
                                                 30,           30,
                                                2010          2009
                                             ------        ------
    Merchandise inventories, net             $152,804      $150,917
    Inventory turns, trailing 12 months
     ( B )                                       1.89          1.81

    Long-term debt                            $26,435       $35,270
    Long-term debt to total
     capitalization ( C )                        19.6%         25.4%
                                             $108,497      $103,721
    Book value ( D )
                                               $11.22        $10.63
    Book value per share ( E )





                                             Three Months Ended
                                                  April 30,
                                            2010            2009
                                            ----            ----
    Comparable-store revenues ( F ):
       Total                                 4.9%           -5.9%
       Merchandise                           6.3%           -5.1%
       Rental                               -1.7%           -9.3%




            Calculations may differ in the method employed from similarly
    ( A )   titled measures used by other companies.
            Calculated as merchandise cost of goods sold for the period's
            trailing twelve months divided by average merchandise inventory
    ( B )   over the same period.
            Defined as long-term debt divided by long-term debt plus total
    ( C )   shareholders' equity (book value).
    ( D )  Defined as total shareholders' equity.
            Defined as total shareholders' equity divided by weighted average
            diluted shares outstanding for the three month period ended April
    ( E )   30, 2010 and 2009, respectively.
            Stores included in the comparable-store revenues calculation are
            those stores that have been open for a minimum of 60 weeks.  Also
            included are stores that are remodeled or relocated during the
            comparable period.  Sales via the internet are included and
            closed stores are removed from each comparable period for the
    ( F )   purpose of calculating comparable-store revenues.


Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Company is providing free cash flow, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted operating income as supplemental non-GAAP financial measures regarding the Company's operational performance. The Company evaluates its historical and prospective financial performance, as well as its performance relative to its competitors, by using such non-GAAP financial measures. Specifically, management uses these items to further its own understanding of the Company's core operating performance, which management believes represents the Company's performance in the ordinary, ongoing and customary course of its operations. Therefore, management excludes from core operating performance those items, such as those relating to restructuring, investing, stock-based compensation expense and non-cash activities that management does not believe are reflective of such ordinary, ongoing and customary activities.

The Company believes that providing this information to its investors, in addition to the presentation of GAAP financial measures, allows investors to see the Company's financial results "through the eyes" of management. The Company further believes that providing this information allows investors to both better understand the Company's financial performance and to evaluate the efficacy of the methodology and information used by management to evaluate and measure such performance.

Free Cash Flow

Management defines free cash flow as net cash provided by operating activities for the period less purchases of property, equipment and improvements during the period. Purchases of property, equipment and improvements during the period are netted with any proceeds received from insurance on casualty loss that are directly related to the reinvestment of new capital expenditures. The following table reconciles net cash provided by operating activities, a GAAP financial measure, to free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure (in thousands):




                                                     Three months ended April
                                                               30,
                                                          2010           2009
                                                          ----           ----
    Net cash provided by operating activities          $10,796        $13,369
    Purchase of property, equipment and
     improvements, net                                  (2,260)        (3,054)
                                                        ------         ------

    Free cash flow                                      $8,536        $10,315
                                                        ======        =======



EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

EBITDA is defined as net income before interest expense (net), income tax expense, property and equipment depreciation expense and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA, as presented herein, is EBITDA excluding gift card breakage revenue and stock-based compensation expense. The following table reconciles net income, a GAAP financial measure, to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP financial measures (in thousands):




                                                   Three months ended
                                                        April 30,
                                                     2010        2009
                                                     ----        ----
    Net Income                                     $1,018      $1,702
    Adjusted for
       Interest expense, net                          132         295
       Income tax expense                             401       1,107
       Property and equipment depreciation
        expense                                     4,321       4,850
                                                    -----       -----
    EBITDA                                          5,872       7,954

       Gift card breakage revenue                    (194)          -
       Stock-based compensation                       143          51
                                                      ---         ---

    Adjusted EBITDA                                $5,821      $8,005
                                                   ======      ======



Adjusted Operating Income

Adjusted operating income is defined as operating income excluding gift card breakage revenue and stock based compensation expense. The following table reconciles operating income, a GAAP financial measure, to adjusted operating income, a non-GAAP financial measure (in thousands):



                                       Three months ended
                                           April 30,
                                         2010        2009
                                         ----        ----
    Operating income                   $1,531      $3,086
    Adjusted for
       Gift card breakage revenue        (194)          -
       Stock-based compensation           143          51
                                          ---         ---

    Adjusted operating income          $1,480      $3,137
                                       ======      ======


Free cash flow, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted operating income are considered non-GAAP financial measures under the SEC's Regulation G and therefore should not be considered in isolation of, or as a substitute for, net income, operating income, cash flow from operating activities, or any other measure of financial performance or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP. The financial measures of non-GAAP free cash flow, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted operating income may vary among other companies. Therefore, our free cash flow, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted operating income may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.

SOURCE Hastings Entertainment, Inc.