The departmental store chain,
Bon-Ton Stores Inc.
), recently reported a 2.4% upside in same-store sales (comps)
for the five-week period ended December 29, 2012, despite
challenging weather conditions.
This compared favorably with a 0.7% decline in the year-ago
period. The comps benefited from continuous efforts to improve
the merchandise collection, a strong promotional calendar and the
enhancement of marketing program.
Total sales crept up 1.5% to $512.9 million in the month of
December. A new Goodwill Sale event in early December for the
local communities must have helped drive monthly sales.
Categories like fine jewelry, ladies' sportswear and dresses
across all sizes, along with ladies' outerwear and shoes
performed well in the month. The company's eCommerce business
deserves a special mention, as it posted double-digit sales
Bon-Ton's year-to-date total revenue nudged up 0.3% year over
year to $2,718.6 million while comps were down 0.6%. On the
inventory front, the company ended the month with fewer goods,
which will likely better place the company for the spring
Bon-Ton, headquartered in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, reiterated its outlook for 2012. The company expects
fiscal 2012 results to range between a loss of $1.35 per share
and a profit of 20 cents per share. Its adjusted earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) are
expected to be in the range of 160 million and $190 million.
Bon-Ton remains upbeat on its upcoming fourth quarter result.
Superstorm Sandy will have negligible impact on its business. The
Zacks Consensus Estimates for the fourth quarter is pegged at
$3.90 reflecting year-over-year growth of 27.04%.
The stock has a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy). We reiterate our
long-term Neutral recommendation on Bon-Ton. Same-store sales at
) jumped 3.4% in December with a total sales increase of 4.0% in
BON-TON STORES (BONT): Free Stock Analysis
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