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Buckle's Comps Decline Yet Again

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Buckle Inc. (BKE - Free Report) , the retailer of casual apparels, footwear and accessories for men and women, came up with soft comparable-store sales (comps) results for Feb 2013.

After registering a 2% decline in comps in Jan 2013, Buckle witnessed a 1.1% decrease in comps in Feb 2013 when compared with Feb 2012 results. However, net sales increased 2.9% to $89.3 million from $86.7 million in the comparable prior-year period.

As a whole, Feb 2013 was tough for most retailers as macro-economic factors including increase in fuel and energy costs, higher payroll taxes and delay in tax refunds coupled with unfavorable weather conditions hindered consumer spending and in turn adversely affected the growth and profitability of companies.

Despite these challenges, companies like Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Free Report) , Limited Brands Inc. and Gap Inc. (GPS - Free Report) came up with healthy comps results. Costco witnessed a 6% rise in comps for Feb 2013, while Limited Brands and Gap registered a 3% increase.

Buckle witnessed an increase of 5.5% in total sales in the men's category, which represented approximately 40.5% of the sales for Feb 2013. The rise reflected strong sales of denim, accessories, Knit shirts, and active apparel.

Women's category, which represented 59.5% of total sales for Feb 2013, marked an increase of 2% in total sales when compared with Feb 2012. The category witnessed increased sales in active apparel, woven tops, accessories and footwear.

On a combined basis, accessories sales increased approximately 11.5%, while footwear sales jumped about 24% during the period under review.

Buckle is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter of fiscal 2012 results on Mar 14, 2013. Earlier, the company stated that comps remained flat for the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2012, while net sales rose 7% year over year to $360.6 million. The company witnessed a 2.1% increase in comps for fiscal 2012, while net sales increased 5.7% year over year to $1,124 million.

Headquartered in Kearney, Neb., Buckle operates through with 441 retail stores across 43 states. Currently, the company retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).  

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