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June Sales Lose Momentum at Buckle

Zacks Equity Research

Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle Inc. (BKE), a leading retailer of casual apparels, footwear and accessories for both men and women, posted weak same-store sales as well as total sales for the five-week period ended June 30, 2012. The decrease was witnessed mainly due to a fall in women’s side business, partially offset by marginal improvement in men's side.

The company stated that total sales of $79.4 million for the month of June 2012, inched down 0.3% from $79.6 million in the comparable prior-year period. Same-store sales dropped 2.5% year over year for the month.

Buckle witnessed an increase of roughly 2% in the men’s side business (which accounted for roughly 44% of total sales for the month), whereas the women’s side business – representing approximately 56% of total sales – fell 1.5% for the five week period ended June 30, 2012.

However, the company performed far better than its peer. One of its competitors, Cato Corp. (CATO) reported a fall of 7.0% and 10.0% in total sales and same-store sales, respectively, in June.

For Buckle, the company’s denim, woven tops, casual bottoms, active apparel, accessories and footwear categories performed well in June. Accessory sales for men's and women's categories together increased roughly 16.0% year over year while footwear business climbed 6.5%.

For the 22-weeks period ended June 30, 2012, Buckle’s sales jumped 6.5% to $413.0 million from $387.8 million in the same period last year. Year-to-date, company’s same-store sales also increased 4.2% over the prior year period.

The company ended the month of June with 435 retail stores in 43 states compared with 424 stores in 41 states as of July 5, 2011. Buckle, which mainly caters to older teens and young adults, currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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