By  on March 14, 2013

The Buckle Inc. posted a 9.4 percent rise in fourth-quarter income Thursday, besting Wall Street’s projections.For the period ended Feb. 2, the Kearney, Neb.-based retailer reported income of $61.4 million, or $1.28 a diluted share, compared with income of $56.1 million, or $1.18 a share a year earlier.Net sales increased 7 percent for the quarter to $360.6 million from $337.1 million.RELATED CONTENT: Click Here for More Earnings Coverage >>Analysts expected earnings of $1.25 a share on sales of $356.6 million.Quarterly comparable-store sales were flat in the fourth quarter versus last year, while online sales rose by 5.4 percent to $29.1 million.Adrienne Tennant, an analyst at Janney Capital Market, noted, “True to their full-price strategy, we do continue to note limited promotions at [Buckle] even in the highly promotional environment. However, should comps potentially come under pressure, the company may find it difficult to sustain peak margins.”For the fiscal year, Buckle’s income grew 8.5 percent to $164.3 million, or $3.44 a share, up from $151.5 million, or $3.20 a share in 2011. Net sales rose 5.7 percent to $1.12 billion from $1.06 billion.Shares of Buckle rose 3.1 percent to $48.74 Thursday.

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