Specialty retailer The Buckle Inc. and discount chain Stein Mart Inc. both bested Wall Street’s fourth-quarter earnings estimates Thursday morning with healthy profit gains. 


The Buckle recorded a 17.4 percent increase in net income to $49.5 million, or $1.05 a diluted share for the period ended Jan. 29, compared with year-ago income of $42.1 million, or 90 cents a share.


Sales grew 10.4 percent to $303.1 million, from $274.4 million, a year earlier, as comparable-store sales for the quarter rose 6.3 percent.


Analysts anticipated $1 a share on sales of $301.6 million, according to Yahoo.


At Stein Mart Inc., tightly managed inventory and expenses helped the retailer amass a quarterly profit of $18.8 million, or 42 cents a diluted share, versus net income of $2.7 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago period.


Excluding an income tax benefit, income for the period ended Jan. 29 totaled 32 cents a share, which topped analysts’ estimates of 21 cents a share.


Sales slid 1.5 percent to $336.7 million, from $341.8 million, and quarterly comps fell 1.2 percent.


“Our long-term success is dependent on gaining more traction in sales growth,” said Stein Mart president and chief executive officer David Stovall Jr.


For complete coverage, see Friday’s WWD.