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Decreasing number report May same store sales; Costco sees 5% jump

Decreasing number report May same store sales; Costco sees 5% jump

U.S. retailers started posting their same-store sales results for the month of May on Thursday, but the dwindling number of retailers that report the metric has made it more difficult to get a clear picture of the industry as a whole.

Revenue in stores open at least one year is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. 

The nine retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters—down from 11 retailers in April —are expected to show 4.7% growth in same-store sales, compared to 3.8% growth a year ago as warmer weather and promotions helped boost May sales. So far, eight of the companies have reported and posted 4.6% growth.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST), the largest U.S. warehouse-club chain, said comparable-store sales, excluding fuel, rose 5 percent in May, surpassing analyst estimates of 4.9 percent according to Bloomberg, but missing estimates of 5.5 per cent according to Thomson Reuters. Net sales at the Issaquah, Washington-based retailer increased 7 percent to $8.13 billion for the four-week period ended June 2. The shares advanced 0.8 percent to $110.00 in early trading in New York. The stock has gained approximately 11 percent this year through Wednesday.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE:LTD), the operator of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain, posted a 3 percent rise in same-store sales for the four weeks ended June 1. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a same-store sales increase of 3.2 percent. Columbus, Ohio-based company, which operates 2,876 stores, said net sales for the period rose to $737 million, from $671.9 million a year earlier. The shares dropped 1 percent to $51.14

The Buckle Inc. (NYSE:BKE), a teen apparel retailer, said revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4.1 percent in May. The results topped analyst expectations of a 3.3 percent rise, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. The Kearney, Nebraska-based company, which operates 444 retail stores in 43 states, said its total revenue rose 4 percent to $72.8 million in the four weeks ended June 1, compared with a year earlier. The shares edged up 0.3 percent to $54.01. The stock gained approximately 21 percent so far this year.

Cato Corp. (NYSE:CATO), a retailer of fashion apparel and accessories, reported a 2 percent drop in same-store sales for the four weeks ended June 1. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said net sales for the period decreased 3 percent $81.7 million. The company operated 1,307 stores in 31 states as of June 1. The shares added 0.3 percent to $25.43.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), a specialty retailer of action sports related apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories, said comparable store sales increased 1.1 percent for the four-week period ended June 1, compared to a comparable store sales jump of 13.7 percent for the four-week period ended May 26, 2012. The shares slid 0.6 percent to $30.81. The stock gained 57 percent this year through Wednesday.

Gap (NYSE:GPS) is slated to report May sales after the market closes Thursday.

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