I wrote an article three months ago ago praising the Buckle
At the time, consumers were growing pessimistic, and the stock market was plunging. But September comparable-store sales increased 19.7% and October sales rose 14.5%. And third-quarter net sales jumped 25.7% from a year earlier, while net income climbed 31%. But the shares fell to a low of $14.58 on Nov. 20. On Jan. 7, the company announced that December comparable-store sales increased 13.5%.
Of the 35 retailers that have reported December same-store sales, only eight posted growth, and the Buckle recorded the largest gain, with Aeropostale grabbing second place. TheStreet.com Ratings gives the company a buy recommendation.
Based on the comparison of same-store sales and stock performance, it's clear specialty retail shares aren't trading on fundamentals. For example, ANF was by far the worst performer based on same-store sales from October through December, but its stock fared better than BKE's. ANF's stock also outperformed American Apparel (Stock Quote: APP), which had the second-best same-store sales from October through December.
By examining sales figures, not stock performance, the Buckle appears unaffected by the economic downturn. In fact, the company is flourishing in what is perhaps the worst retail environment in decades. Keep in mind that BKE is not a discount retailer poised to benefit from "trading down." The Buckle sells mid-range to pricy denim, clothing and accessories. Its stores target teenagers and young adults and carry a diversified portfolio of merchandise, which includes proprietary and third-party brands.