June Retail Sales May Be Softer Than Expected

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Retailers are announcing June U.S. same-store sales figures Thursday. Research firm Retail Metrics projected an overall gain of 4.9% year-over-year, marking the largest monthly gain since January 2013. After the weather-related sales weakness in the first three months of the year, April, May and June have all produced strong gains.

The number of retailers reporting same-store sales has declined significantly over the past few years, but the reported numbers do provide a kind of interim report on the quarter’s performance of the country’s retailers. Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) reported mixed quarterly earnings Thursday morning before the markets opened. Here is a rundown on stores that have reported sales this morning:

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported same-store sales for June rose 6%, equal to the increased posted in May. That is higher than the Retail Metrics estimate for a gain of 5%, including gasoline sales. Net sales for the month totaled $10.89 billion.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) said same-store sales for June rose 2% compared with last year. Retail Metrics had estimated a rise of 2.7%. L Brands operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel stores. Net sales rose 7% to $1.18 billion in June.

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Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for June rose 0.7% compared with the same period a year ago. The Retail Metrics estimate called for a drop of 0.5%. Net sales increased 2.8% and totaled $84.8 million for the month.

Stein Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT) reported a 2.6% increase in same-store sales for June, slightly below the 2.7% positive growth estimate from Retail Metrics. In June of last year, sales rose 6.5%. Total sales for June came in at $113.2 million, up 3.8% from a year ago.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) posted a same-store sales increase of 3.1% for June. Retail Metrics estimated a rise of 2.2%. Total sales for the month were $65.3 million, up 11.1% over June of 2013. Zumiez also raised its guidance and now expects fiscal 2014 second-quarter sales in the range of $174 million to $176 million and net income per diluted share of approximately $0.19 to $0.21, an increase from the previously issued guidance of sales in the range of $167 million to $171 million and net income per diluted share of approximately $0.12 to $0.16.

Costco shares were down about 0.1% in premarket trading Thursday to $117.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $109.50 to $126.12.

L Brands shares were inactive, having closed at $61.86 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $50.08 to $67.16.

Stein Mart shares were also inactive and closed at $13.97 Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $11.53 to $16.17.

Zumiez’s shares traded up about 7% in the premarket at $30.00, after closing at $28.00 Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $20.68 to $31.31.

The Buckle’s shares were also inactive and closed at $45.84, in a 52-week range of $41.45 to $57.68.

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