The Buckle Inc.’s third-quarter results fell short of analyst expectations Thursday as its quarterly profits and same-store sales both declined.

This story first appeared in the November 22, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In the 13 weeks ended Nov. 2, net income was $40.6 million, or 85 cents a diluted share, off 3.2 percent from the $41.9 million, or 88 cents, registered during last year’s period. Analysts, on average, expected earnings per share of 90 cents.

Net sales rose 0.9 percent, to $286.8 million from $284.1 million, while comparable-store sales ticked down 0.5 percent.  Comps don’t include online sales, which rose 11.9 percent to $22 million. Gross margin fell to 44 percent of sales from 44.1 percent a year ago.

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Adhering to its historic practice, the company didn’t provide guidance.

Inventories at the end of the quarter were $146.3 million, 8.8 percent higher than their year-ago level.

Dennis Nelson, president and chief executive officer, told analysts, “We feel good about our inventory and where we’re at. We have built inventory some because last year we felt we missed some denim business, especially at the end of December and going into January. So we are pretty much on plan at this point.”

In the just-concluded quarter, women’s sales accounted for about 61 percent of the total and were “down just slightly,” according to Thomas Heacock, treasurer and controller. The men’s business rose 2.5 percent.

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