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Buckle Surpasses Expectations

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Buckle Inc. (BKE - Free Report) , the leading retailer of casual apparels, footwear and accessories for men and women, came up with better-than-expected same-store sales results for the five-week period ended December 29, 2012.

The company posted same-store sales growth of 1% in December 2012, reflecting a 5.5% increase in average transaction value. The company reported an 8.9% increase in comparable store sales in December 2011. Net sales increased 1.8% to $185 million from $181.8 million in the comparable prior-year period.

Buckle’s performance exceeded that of its peer, The Cato Corporation , which marked a decline of 7% in its same store sales results for December.

The company witnessed an increase of 4.5% in total sales in the men's category, which represented approximately 46.5% of the sales for December 2012. The rise reflected strong sales of denim, accessories, knit shirts, and footwear.

However, women's category, which represented 53.5% of total sales for December 2012, marked a marginal decline in sales when compared with December 2011. The company witnessed increased sales in casual bottoms, active apparel, woven tops, accessories, outerwear, and footwear.

On a combined basis, accessories sales increased approximately 7%, while footwear sales jumped about 17.5% during the period under review.

Further, for the 48-week period ended December 29, 2012, Buckle’s comparable-store sales grew 2.4% compared with the prior-year period. Net sales increased 4.2% to $1,045 million from $1,003 million in the comparable prior-year period.

Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle ended the month of December with 440 retail stores across 43 states. Buckle currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank that translates into a short-term ‘Buy’ rating.  

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