Limited Brands Hogs the Spotlight Throughout June
Major retailers reported same store sales (SSS) for the month of June this morning, with Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD) blowing the competition away and gaining a leg-up on the months to come. The company experienced a 7 percent increase this time around, with others such as The Wet Seal (NASDAQ: WTSLA) and The Buckle (NYSE: BKE) reporting negative numbers for the first month of summer.
Limited Brands has proven itself in more ways than one throughout the month of June. The retailer was estimated to only jump about 2.4 percent, according to a survey taken by Thomson Reuters' analysts. Going one better, the company more than doubled this estimate and squashed monthly sales numbers of competing retailers by raking in approximately $1.1 billion.
The popular clothing distributor has seen comparable brands begin to fall by the wayside as of late. The Wet Seal not only reported significantly shaky numbers for the month of May, but is down once again with same store sales decreasing 9 percent.
Last month, the company faced scrutiny by analysts who were stunned to discover the retailer had experienced a same store sales decline of 8.8 percent, much worse than estimates of 7.8 percent. This month was just as disheartening as the last, as the 9 percent drop marks the company's tenth straight decline in a row.
“June sales were in line with our expectations. We maintained sharp promotional levels through the month, as planned, in our efforts to ensure inventories at both Wet Seal and Arden B are well-positioned entering the fiscal third quarter," Wet Seal CEO Susan McGalla stated.
“We continue to expect a fiscal second quarter net loss in the range of $0.03 to $0.06 per diluted share, with comparable store sales also still expected to decline between 7% and 11%.”
While not having as tough of a time as The Wet Seal, The Buckle also reported negative same store sales with a decrease of 2.5 percent in June alone. Net sales were barely comparable to The Limited, as the company brought in $79.40 million, lower than last year's $79.60 million and quite far away from reaching the billion mark in general.
Analysts at J.P. Morgan recently lowered The Buckle's price target from $45 to $43 as signs of weakness were coming to light and summertime pressure was becoming more apparent. However, the firm does not believe The Buckle is broken as trends keep analysts sidelined, yet watchful.
Back-to-School themes appear to be both The Buckle and The Wet Seal's future saving grace, as management from both companies has alluded to the fact that trends should catch on as the summer months come to a close.
The remainder of summer is sure to be sweltering for struggling retailers, with Limited Brands staying cool, calm and hydrated on positive reports and successful trends. In the less-fortunate case of The Wet Seal and The Buckle, analysts and investors must stay tuned to find out whether or not fashionistas will be flocking back to the stores once the humidity drops nationwide.
Limited Brands closed Tuesday at $44.14, up almost 9.5% year-to-date. Conversely, The Wet Seal closed Tuesday at 3.16, down about 3% year-to-date, with The Buckle closing at $39.67, also down near 3% year-to-date.
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