April Same-Store Sales Lag Estimates

Retailers are announcing April U.S. same-store sales figures Thursday morning. Research firm Retail Metrics had forecast a year-over-year increase of 1.3% for the month. That’s a significant improvement from an increase of 0.2% in March and 0.1% in February.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) is expected to release sales figures after markets close next Monday. Retail Metrics expects same-store sales to rise 1.1% year over year, with the company’s Banana Republic sales falling 5.1%, compared with a 15% drop in April 2015.

Here are results from the stores we track:

Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported that same-store sales for April fell 13.2% compared with the same month a year ago. The Retail Metrics estimate called for sales to drop 6.6%. Net sales for all stores fell 12.3% and totaled $65.2 million for the month. These results include a $3 million accrual to cover estimated rewards from the company’s new loyalty program. Excluding the effect of the accrual, same-store sales for April fell 9.2% and total sales were down 8.2%.

Buckle’s shares were inactive in Thursday’s premarket, having closed at $28.85 on Wednesday, up about 0.2% for the day, in a 52-week trading range of $26.05 to $47.36.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported April same-store sales, including gasoline sales and foreign exchange effects, were flat in the United States, up 2% in Canada and down 3% internationally. Globally, same-store sales were flat compared with April 2015. Excluding gasoline and currency exchange effects, U.S. sales rose 2%, Canadian sales rose 7% and international sales rose 1%. On the same basis, worldwide same-stores sales in the quarter rose 3%. Net sales for the month totaled $8.98 billion, up 3% year over year. Retail Metrics had projected a same-store sales gain of 1.1% (up 4.3% excluding gasoline sales).

Costco shares traded down about 2% in Thursday’s premarket, at $148.35, after closing at $151.51 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $117.03 to $169.73.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) said same-store sales for April rose 1% compared with last year’s sales. Retail Metrics had estimated an increase of 4.8%. L Brands operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel stores. The largest gain came from the company’s Bath & Body Works, up 4% year over year in the month. Net sales rose 2% to $737.5 million in April. L Brands said it expects to report first-quarter adjusted earnings per share at the high end of its previously announced range of $0.50 to $0.55.

L Brands’ shares traded down about 6.2% Thursday’s premarket session at $75.20. Shares closed at $80.18 on Wednesday, and the stock’s 52-week range is $75.11 to $101.11.