Buckle key sales metric falls 2.8 pct in December

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2014 at 7:14 am •  Published: January 9, 2014

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — The Buckle Inc.'s sales at stores open at least a year slipped 2.8 percent in December, disappointing Wall Street forecasters.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the figure to rise 0.9 percent.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a widely-watched gauge of a retailer's health. It excludes potentially distorting results from stores recently opened or closed.

Buckle said Thursday that revenue for the five weeks ended Jan. 4 fell 2.2 percent to $180.9 million.

The retailer said that there was an extra week in fiscal 2012 so its same-store sales for December and the year-to-date are compared with the five-week and 48-week periods ended Jan. 5, 2013.

For the year to date, sales at stores open at least a year edged up 0.4 percent. Total revenue climbed 2.5 percent to $1.07 billion.

Buckle, which is based in Kearney, Neb., currently runs 450 stores in 43 states. Its shares finished at $50.51 on Wednesday.