Retail Sales Pointed Higher (COST, WTSLA, LTD, BKE, JWN, GPS, ZUMZ)

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Several retailers are announcing October same-store sales today, and the reports are generally good. Research firm Retail Metrics projects an overall gain of 4.6% for the month, excluding the impact of drug store sales. That represents a rise of 0.7% compared with the 3.9% same-store sales increase in September.

Here's a rundown:

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported same-store sales for the four weeks ended October 28 rose 7%, compared with October 2011, and above a consensus estimate of 6.6%. Excluding gasoline, same-store sales growth totaled 5%. For the first nine weeks of its current reporting period, same-store sales are also up 7% and total sales are up 9% year-over-year.

The Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) reported same-store sales for the four weeks fell 7.6%, awful but better than September's drop of 12.7%. The women's clothing retailer also said that its fourth-quarter loss would now be $0.13 per share, the better end of the prior range. The net loss may be larger depending on potential asset impairment charges.

Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) said same-store sales for the four weeks ended October 28 rose 3% compared with October 2011 and a consensus estimate for a rise of 5%. For the third quarter, which ended October 27, same-store sales rose 5% and net sales slipped to $2.05 billion from $2.17 billion a year ago.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) posted a same-store sales gain in October of 2.4%, slightly below expectations for a gain of 2.9%.

The Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for October rose 3.8%, compared with the same month a year ago. Same-store sales year-to-date are up 3.2%.

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) reported same-store sales rose 9.7% compared with October 2011, and total sales rose 2.7%. Year-to-date same-store sales are up 7.7%, and total sales are up 11.7% compared with 2011.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reported same-store sales rose 4% for the four weeks ended October 27. The consensus estimate called for a gain of 5.6%.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) reported that same-store sales rose 0.6% in October, well below an estimate of 4.4% from Retail Metrics. The worse news is that the company lowered its third-quarter guidance from a previous range of $0.42 to $0.45 to a new range of $0.38 to $0.39.

Gap's shares are down 1.2% at $35.28 in early trading this morning, in a 52-week range of $17.62 to $37.85.

Wet Seal's shares are up 2.2% to $2.92, in a 52-week range of $2.42 to $4.32.

Target's shares are down fractionally this morning at $63.48, in a 52-week range of $47.25 to $65.80.

Limited's shares are down 2.5% this morning at $46.67, in a 52-week range of $37.57 to $52.20.

Costco shares are down fractionally to $98.41, in a 52-week range of $78.81 to $104.43.

Nordstrom's shares are up about 1% to $57.32, last night in a 52-week range of $44.22 to $58.44.

Zumiez's shares are down 13.6% at $21.88m in a 52-week range of $20.91 to $41.96.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Retail Tagged: BKE, COST, GPS, JWN, LTD, TGT, WTSLA, ZUMZ
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