Buckle's Comps Rise in April


Despite challenges arising from higher social security payroll taxes and unexpected cold weather, Buckle Inc. (BKE) came up with better-than-expected comparable-store sales (comps) results for the month of April.

Buckle, the retailer of casual apparels, footwear and accessories for men and women, witnessed a 6.2% increase in comps when compared with Apr 2012 results. Moreover, results improved sequentially as comps remained flat in Mar 2013.  

Net sales increased 3.1% to $73.8 million from $71.6 million in the prior-year period. For the 13-week period ended May 4, 2013, Buckle witnessed a 1.2% rise in comps, while net sales increased 2.3% to $269.7 million.  

Besides Buckle, few other retail chains were able to navigate through this challenging economy. Clothing retailers like The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX), Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) and Zumiez, Inc. (ZUMZ) witnessed comps increase of 8%, 7% and 4.6%, respectively.

Buckle witnessed an increase of 1.5% in total sales in the men's category, which comprised roughly 40% of Apr 2013 sales. The rise reflected strong sales of denim and accessories. 

Women's category, which represents 60% of total sales for Apr 2013, marked an increase of 4% when compared with Apr 2012. The category witnessed increased sales in accessories, denims, woven tops, active apparel, dresses and footwear.

On a combined basis, accessory sales elevated approximately 7.5%, while footwear sales jumped about 12.5% during the period under review.

The company opened 1 new store during the month and operates through 443 retail stores across 43 states.

Headquartered in Kearney, NE, shares of Buckle currently carry a favorable Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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