Retail Sales Solidly Higher (COST, WTSLA, LTD, BKE, M, TGT, GPS)

Several retailers are announcing September same-store sales today, and the reports are generally good. Gains were not as large as in August, but are providing a positive outlook for the coming holiday shopping season.

Here's a rundown:

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported same-store sales for the five weeks ended September 30 rose 6%, compared with August 2011 and a consensus estimate from analysts of 5.7%. Excluding gasoline, same-store sales growth totaled 5%. Costco also reported total sales for its 2012 fiscal year that ended on September 2. Sales totaled $97.06 billion, short of the consensus estimate calling for revenues of $98.52 billion. Sales for the fourth quarter totaled $31.52 billion, just shy of the consensus estimate of $31.59 billion. Same-store sales for the full fiscal year rose 6%.

The Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) reported same-store sales for the five weeks ended September 29 fell 12.7%, awful but better than August's drop of 18.3%. The company said that sales were "in line" with its expectations and that it expects third-quarter sales to fall by 14% to 18%. The company also sent a letter to shareholders this morning urging them to reject efforts by private equity firm Clinton Group to replace the company's board.

Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) said same-store sales for the five weeks ended September 29 rose 5%, compared with August 2011 and a consensus estimate for a rise of 4.3%. Year-to-date same-store sales also rose 7%.

The Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for September fell 0.8%, compared with the same month a year ago. Same-store sales year-to-date are up 3.1%.

Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) reported same-store sales rose 2.5%, compared with September 2011. Total sales rose 2.7%, for the five weeks ended September 29. Year-to-date same-store sales are up 3.6% and online sales are up 39%, compared with September 2011.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) said same-store sales rose 2.1% for the five weeks ended September 29, and total sales rose 2.6%.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reported same-store sales rose 6% for the five weeks ended September 29. Total sales also rose 8%, with the company's Old Navy stores posting a 10% gain compared with September 2011.

Gap's shares are up 1.22% at $36.75 in premarket trading this morning in a 52-week range of $16.51 to $36.76.

Wet Seal's shares are inactive in the premarket today, having closed last night at $3.16 in a 52-week range of $2.42 to $4.63.

Limited's shares are inactive as well this morning, having closed last night at $50.24 in a 52-week range of $37.57 to $52.20.

Costco shares are up 0.2% at $99.62 a 52-week range of $78.41 to $103.51.

Target's shares are up 1.5% at $63.09 in a 52-week range of $47.25 to $65.80.

Macy's shares are down 0.1% at $39.49 in a 52-week range of $25.28 to $42.17.

Paul Ausick


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

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