May Same-Store Sales Could Clear a Low Bar

Paul Ausick

Retailers are announcing May U.S. same-store sales figures Thursday morning. Research firm Retail Metrics had forecast a year-over-year decrease of 0.5% for the month. In April, same-store sales were down 0.7%.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) is expected to release sales figures after markets close Thursday. Retail Metrics expects same-store sales to drop 8% year over year, with the company’s Banana Republic sales falling 11.2%, compared with a 5% drop in May 2015.

Here are results from the stores we track:

Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for May fell 11% compared with the same month a year ago. The Retail Metrics estimate called for sales to drop 12%. Net sales for all stores fell 10.4% and totaled $67.4 million for the month. These results include the impact of both reward redemptions and accruals for estimated future rewards related to Buckle’s new loyalty program.

Buckle’s shares were inactive in Thursday’s premarket, having closed at $24.85 on Wednesday, up about 0.5% for the day, in a 52-week range of $22.00 to $47.36.

May same-store sales at Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST), including gasoline sales and foreign exchange effects, reportedly were up 1% in the United States, down 1% in Canada and down 3% internationally. Globally, same-store sales were flat compared with May 2015. Excluding gasoline and currency exchange effects, U.S. sales rose 4%, Canadian sales rose 6% and international sales rose 3%. On the same basis worldwide, same-stores sales in the quarter rose 4%. Net sales for the month totaled $9.23 billion, up 3% year over year. Retail Metrics had projected a same-store sales rise 0.9% (up 2.5% excluding gasoline sales).

Costco shares traded down about 1.5% in Thursday’s premarket to $150.20, after closing at $152.52 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $117.03 to $169.73.

Compared with last year’s sales, L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) said same-store sales for May were flat. Retail Metrics had estimated a drop of 3.5%. 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 3% year over year in the month. Net sales rose 2% to $816.6 million in May.

L Brands’ shares traded up about 2.3% in Thursday’s premarket session to $70.00. Shares closed at $68.41 on Wednesday, and the stock’s 52-week range is $60.00 to $101.11.