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Buckle's (BKE) Dismal Comps Run Persists, Stock Down 25% YTD

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The Buckle, Inc.’s BKE soft comparable-store sales (comps) performance has been a concern for investors. Comps for the five-week period ended Sep 30, 2017 declined 5.7% year over year. The company’s comps have decreased 7.9% in August, 8.4% in July, 5.8% in June, 9% in May, 3.5% in April, 10.1% in March, 23.2% in February and 17.6% in January.

Buckle generated net sales of $77.9 million in September, down 6.1% year over year. Net sales decreased 7.9% in August, 9% in July, 5.9% in June, 8.8% in May, 3.9% in April, 10.1% in March, 23.3% in February and 17.2% in January.

Comps for the 35-week period ended Sep 30 declined 9.4%, while net sales decreased 9.5% to $566.1 million.

Buckle’s disappointing comps results is evident from its dismal run in the index. Shares of this retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories have plunged 24.8% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 23.2%.

Sales at the company’s Men's category, which contributed nearly 47% to sales in September, tumbled 0.5% year over year. Moreover, it has not been able to revive the performance of struggling Women’s business. Sales in the Women’s category, which represented 53% of the company’s monthly sales, slumped 10.5% year over year.

On a combined basis, accessory sales, which constituted nearly 8.5% of the company’s September sales, dropped 4%. Footwear sales, which accounted for almost 7% of net sales, declined 3.5%.

As of Oct 5, 2017, Buckle operated 462 retail stores across 44 states.

Apart from Buckle, Costco Wholesale Corporation COST, The Cato Corporation CATO and L Brands, Inc. came out with comparable sales results for the month of September. While comparable sales for Costco increased 8.9% that of Cato and L Brands declined 11% and 2%, respectively.

Buckle currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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