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Zumiez (ZUMZ) Retains Solid Comps Trend With Growth in April

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Zumiez Inc. ZUMZ is leaving a mark with its robust comparable-store sales (comps) trend. Notably, the company delivered the 14th straight month of positive comps in April. Moreover, management made slight positive adjustments to its guidance for first-quarter fiscal 2018, owing to better-than-expected sales.

This mall-based specialty retailer reported 1.7% increase in comps for the four-week period, ended May 5, 2018, compared with 7.8% growth witnessed in the four weeks, ended Apr 29, 2017. Further, total net sales for April advanced 3.7% to $58.6 million from $56.5 million in the year-ago period.

Driven by higher-than-anticipated sales, the company adjusted its earnings and operating margin forecasts for the fiscal first quarter to the positive end. Management now anticipates operating margin of negative 1.3-1.5%, slightly better than the previous estimates of negative 1.7-2.6%. Further, the company now anticipates bottom-line results to be at the high-end of its previously forecasted loss of 18-13 cents or slightly better. The improved guidance is attributed to the timing and location of income and the associated tax expenses.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the reported quarter is pegged at a loss of 14 cents, which is likely to narrow in the coming days.

Looking at fiscal 2018, Zumiez remains confident of delivering accelerated earnings growth, backed by a solid top line and positive-comps trends, margin-enhancement programs, improved expense leverage and lower taxes. Moreover, the company believes that infrastructure investments, made to provide seamless customer experience as well as a unique approach to merchandising, will aid both top- and bottom-line growth in fiscal 2018 and beyond. Consequently, the company projects comps to grow in low-single-digit in fiscal 2018.

Overall, Zumiez is gaining from robust merchandise strategies, solid store-expansion endeavors and e-commerce platform. Backed by strategic initiatives and sturdy comps performance, Zumiez’s shares have surged 24.8% in the past three months against the industry’s decline of 4.4%.

Looking for More? Check These

Some stocks worth considering from the Apparel and Shoes industry are The Buckle, Inc BKE, Urban Outfitters Inc. URBN and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. AEO. While Buckle sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Urban Outfitters and American Eagle carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Buckle has gained 20.8% in the past year. Moreover, it has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 9.1% in the trailing four quarters.

Urban Outfitters has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 8.5% in the trailing four quarters. It has long-term earnings growth rate of 12%.

American Eagle has long-term EPS growth rate of 7.1%. Further, the stock has returned 16.7% in the last three months.

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