Retail Sales for May Better Than Expected

100267991Retailers are announcing May same-store sales figures today. Research firm Retail Metrics projected an overall gain of 2.8% year-over-year, compared with a 1.4% gain in March and a 3% gain in April. Retail sales gained 2% in May of 2012. Early reports indicate that the overall May increase could reach 3.5%.

Retail sales in May got a lift from improving weather, rising stock prices, better news on housing and rising consumer confidence. The modest forecast has been hampered by higher gasoline prices and stagnant personal income.

Many retailers no longer report monthly same-store sales. These include Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO).

Here's a rundown:

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported that same-store sales, including gasoline, for May rose 5%, compared with the same month in 2012. That is above the Retail Metrics estimate for a gain of 4.4%, including gasoline sales.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) said same-store sales for May rose 3%, compared with the same period last year, as well as a Retail Metrics estimate for a rise of 2.9%.

The Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for May rose 4.1% compared with the same period a year ago. The Retail Metrics estimate called for a rise of 3.4%. A year ago, The Buckle reported a same-store sales rise of just 0.2%.

Stein Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT) reported an 8.2% jump in same-store sales for May, well above the 3.7% estimate from Retail Metrics. In May of last year, sales rose 3.1%. Today's report follows a very strong same-store sales jump of 8% in April.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) posted a same-stores sales rise of 1.1% for May, well below the 2.9% increase expected by Retail Metrics. In May 2012, the teen apparel store's sales jumped 13.7%.

Costco shares are up about 1%, at $110.44 in a 52-week range of $87.25 to $115.77.

L Brands' shares are down 2.3%, at $50.46 in a 52-week range of $40.32 to $53.33.

Stein Mart's shares are up 2.3%, at $13.30 in a 52-week range was $6.56 to $13.44.

Zumiez's shares are down 2.3%, at $30.32 in a 52-week range of $17.93 to $41.96.

The Buckle's shares are trading up 0.5% at $54.14 in a 52-week range of $36.33 to $57.22.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Research, Retail, Services Tagged: AEO, ANF, BKE, COST, KSS, LTD, M, SMRT, TGT, WMT, ZUMZ
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