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Zumiez's March Comps Rise

Zacks Equity Research

Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ), a U.S. Specialty retailer with focus on teenage action-sports based merchandise, reported robust comparable store sales (comps) and sales results for the five-week period ended March 31, 2012.

Zumiez’s comps for the month of March 2012 rose 14.1%, above the March 2011 comps increase of 8.9%. Net sales for the period marked an increase of 23.5% to $50.9 million from $41.2 million reported in the five weeks ended April 2, 2011.

Quarterly results of the mall-based specialty retailer have been consistently outperforming the Zacks Consensus Estimate with the average surprise for the last four quarters standing at 67.9%. Zumiez posted solid results in the last quarter (fourth quarter 2011) on the back of strong merchandising, new store opening and e-commerce strategies along with improved margins.  Quarterly earnings of 60 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents and surged 22.4% from the prior-period level of 49 cents.

Net sales in the reported quarter climbed 17.7% year over year to $183.9 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $182 million. Comparable store sales rose 9.7% in the quarter compared with an increase of 13.0% in fourth-quarter 2010.

Everett, Washington-based Zumiez targets young men and women in the age group of 12 to 24 years, who seek popular brands that represent a lifestyle centered on extreme sports activities. The company competes head-to-head with Hot Topic Inc. (HOTT) and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN).

Zumiez's stores span across 2,900 square feet on an average, and offers couches and video game stations to entice customers to shop for extended periods. These stores are strategically located near busy areas of the mall, such as food courts, movie theatres, music/game stores and other popular teenage hang-out destinations. As of March 31, 2012, the company operated 439 stores in the United States and 10 stores in Canada.

Currently, Zumiez holds a Zacks #1 Rank, implying a short-term ‘Strong Buy’ rating on the stock. We retain our long-term ‘Outperform recommendation on the stock.

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Read the Full Research Report on PSUN

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