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Buckle's May Comps Fall Over 3%

Zacks Equity Research

The Buckle, Inc. (BKE), retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women, reported a 3.1% year-over-year fall in comparable-store sales (comps) for the four weeks ended May 31, 2014. Moreover, net sales of $72.0 million decreased 1.2% from the prior-year four-week period ended Jun 1, 2013.

Sales in Buckle’s Men's category rose 4.0% year over year in May, driven mainly by strong performance of denim, casual bottoms, shorts, knit shirts and accessories. The Men's category contributed nearly 43.0% to May 2014 sales. Sales in the Women's category were down 4.5% year over year and contributed 57.0% to May 2014 sales.

On a combined basis, accessories sales which constituted nearly 9.0% of May’s net sales decreased 3.0%, while footwear sales which constituted nearly 7.0% of the net sales remained flat.

Buckle has reported positive comps only once over the span of last 6 months, which was in Apr 2014, when comps grew 0.8% year over year. Prior to that, comps declined 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 Buckle.

Further, comps for the 17-week period, ended May 31, 2014, fell 1.4% year over year, whereas net sales inched up 0.3% to $343.6 million from the prior-year 17-week period ended Jun 1, 2013.  

As of Jun 5, 2014, Kearney, NE-based Buckle operated 453 retail stores across 44 states.

However, there are other retailers who reported better comps for May. Sports-related teen apparel retailer, Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ), reported a 3.6% rise in comps for the four-week period ended May 31, 2014, compared with a comps increase of 1.1% for the four weeks ended June 1, 2013. We believe the company’s sales for the month mainly picked up with the arrival of warmer weather that induced demand for the spring and early summer collections.

Furthermore, specialty retailer L Brands, Inc. (LB) reported a 3.0% rise in comps for the four weeks ended May 31, 2014 while department retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) posted a 6.0% increase in comps for the four weeks ended June 1, 2014.

Currently, Buckle carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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