Buckle's Reports an Increase of 2.2% in September Comps - Analyst Blog

The Buckle, Inc. ( BKE ), retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women, displayed improvement in its comparable-store sales (comps) for the fourth consecutive month. Comps for September (five weeks ended Oct 4, 2014) increased 2.2% year over year following a 0.8%, 0.5% and 0.7% rise in August, July and June comps, respectively.

Apart from the last four months, Buckle has reported positive comps in Apr 2014, when comps grew 0.8% year over year. Prior to that, comps declined 3.1% in May 2014, 1.8% in Mar 2014, 1.4% in Feb 2014, 6.6% in Jan 2014, 2.8% in Dec 2013 and 0.6% in Nov 2013.

Weakness in the Women's category remains a persistent problem for this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock as it is taking the shine off its healthy Men's and accessories business.

Other than Buckle, retailers like Rite Aid Corp. ( RAD ), Zumiez, Inc. ( ZUMZ ) and L Brands, Inc. ( LB ) saw their comparable-store sales increase 5.1%, 6.6% and 6%, respectively, during September. These retailers benefited from the improving consumer confidence and job prospects.

Coming back to Buckle, net sales for September totaled $103.1 million, registering a 4.1% rise from the prior-year four-week period ended Oct 5, 2013.

Sales in Buckle's Men's category rose 9.5% year over year, mainly driven by strong performance of denim, casual bottoms, footwear, knit shirts and accessories. The Men's category contributed nearly 40.5% to Sep 2014 sales. Sales in the Women's category were up 1 % year over year, while contributing 59.5% to the month's sale.

On a combined basis, accessories sales which constituted nearly 8.5% of September's net sales increased 3.5%, while footwear sales which constituted nearly 7% of the net sales increased 12%.

However, comps for the 35-week period, ended Oct 4, 2014, remained flat year over year, whereas net sales inched up 1.7% to $714.2 million from the prior-year 35-week period ended Oct 5, 2013.

As of Oct 9, 2014, Buckle operated 460 retail stores across 44 states.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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