Apparel retailer Buckle, Inc. (BKE: Quote) Thursday reported a higher fourth-quarter profit, reflecting 7 percent growth in net sales. Meanwhile, comparable store sales remained flat with last year. Both earnings per share and revenues topped analysts' expectations.
In the fourth quarter, the company's net income increased to $61.36 million or $1.28 per share from $56.08 million or $1.18 per share in the previous year.
On average, nine analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.25 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
The retailer, which offers on-trend apparel, accessories, and footwear, to young men and women, said its quarterly net sales grew 7 percent to $360.62 million. Analysts estimated revenues of $ 356.58 million for the quarter.
Comparable store net sales, or sales in stores that have been open for at least a year, were flat with last year. Comparable store sales is a key performance metric in retail industry.
Online sales, which are not included in comparable store sales, increased 5.4 percent to $29.1 million.
For the fiscal year ended February 2, 2013, the company posted net income of $164.31 million or $3.44 per share, up from $151.46 million or $3.20 per share in the prior year. Net sales increased 5.7 percent to $1.12 billion. Comparable store net sales rose 2.1 percent from the fiscal year 2011. Online sales increased 8.4 percent to $84.5 million.
As of the end of the fiscal year, Buckle operated 440 stores in 43 states, compared with 431 stores in 43 states at the end of fiscal 2011.
Last Thursday, Buckle announced a 1.1 percent decline in comparable store net sales for the month of February, beating analysts' expectations for 2.7 percent drop. However, net sales increased 2.9 percent to $89.3 million from last year.
US retailers had a mixed February sales at established stores, impacted by payroll tax increase, rising gas prices, and delayed income tax refunds. Sales during the month were aided primarily by Valentine's Day and Presidents Day sales promotions. Cooler weather and a snowstorm in the Northeast during the month put a damper on spending.
Buckle shares closed Wednesday's regular trading at $47.27 on the NYSE. For the past 52 weeks, the shares have been trading in a range of $36.33 to $51.74.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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