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Buckle key sales figure for September disappoints

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) -- The Buckle Inc. said Thursday that a key measure of sales fell at its stores for the month of September.

The teen clothing retailer said that sales in stores open at least a year fell 4.5 percent for the 5-week period that ended Oct. 5. The measure is considered an important indicator of financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened and closed stores, and measures growth at ongoing locations.

That was below market expectations for a 1.2 percent increase, according to Thomson Reuters.

Buckle said that total revenue for the period was flat with last year at $99.1 million, as its women's sales fell slightly and men's sales increased.

For the year to date, sales at stores open at least a year increased 1.1 percent. Total revenue increased 3.4 percent to $702.4 million.

Buckle, headquartered in Kearney, Neb., operates 451 retail stores in 43 states, compared with 440 stores in 43 states at this time last year.

Shares fell $2.58, about 5 percent, to $49.08 by midmorning as the broader markets rallied.