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The Buckle Inc. ( BKE - Snapshot Report ) reported net sales of $94.9 million in November 2011, up 9.2% from $86.9 million in the comparable month last year. The company’s comparable store sales rose 6.9% in the same period.
Total sales for the men’s side of business increased 11.0% year over year and represented 40.0% of total sales for the month, flat year over year. Sales from the women’s side of business accounted for 60.0% of total sales, reflecting an 8.5% increase. In the year-earlier month also, women’s segment accounted for the same percentage.
Pricing in the women's side of the business was steadier compared to men’s. Overall pricing was up 9.5% in the women’s side of business while the men’s side saw an 8.5% increment. This was a trend reversal as men’s side was a stronger performer during the last few months. Average accessory price points were up about 3%, but average footwear price points were up approximately 6.0% for the month. Black Friday store promotions were comparatively lesser than many of its mall-based peers.
In November, the categories that performed well were denim, woven and knit tops, sweaters, outerwear, accessories and footwear. Accessory sales for men's and women's categories together declined approximately 2.5% in comparison to the prior-year month while footwear business grew approximately 13.0%.
Buckle ended November with 431 retail stores in 43 states compared with 422 stores in 41 states as of December 1, 2010. For fiscal 2011, the company opened 13 new stores. Additionally, the company anticipates completing 25 remodels in fiscal 2011.
The Zacks Consensus earnings estimates for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 are pegged at $1.11 and $3.13, respectively. Following the solid monthly results, an optimistic outlook prevails around the stock. Of the nine analysts covering the stock, two raised their estimates both for the upcoming quarter and fiscal year to reflect the company’s fundamental strength.
Buckle, which mainly caters to older teens and young adults, currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank that translates into a short-term Buy rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, Cato Corp. ( CATO ) reported a 3.0% downside in total sales and a 5.0% decrease in same-store sales in November.
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