Buckle Posts 44% Growth (Updated)

The Buckle posts a 44% surge in profit, sending shares up more than 5% in afternoon trading.
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Buckle

(BKE) - Get Report

often gets lost among its big-name competitors like

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

,

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

and

American Eagle Outfitters

(AEO) - Get Report

, but the latest quarterly report from the jean and apparel retailer should stand out. Buckle is managing to thrive while its rivals are faltering.

The Kearney, Nebraska-based company posted a 44% boost in first-quarter earnings, beating expectations and sending shares up 5% in afternoon trading.

During the quarter the clothing chain earned $26.9 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $18.7 million, or 40 cents, in the year-prior. Analysts expected a profit of 50 cents a share.

Revenue rose 25% to $199.7 million from $160.3 million, while same-store sales shot up 17.7%.

"We expect the company to benefit from the ongoing retail fallout given its strong balance sheet, which enables it to keep the stores filled with fresh and trend-right merchandise -- given that in many of its markets it is the primary 'go to' source for a lot of its brands," Elizabeth Pierce, analyst at Roth Capital Partners, wrote in a note on Thursday.

While the company does not provide guidance, Pierce said she maintains her second-quarter outlook of 50 cents a share, and based on positive results raised her 2009 and 2010 forecast to $2.67 and $2.94 a share, respectively. She previously estimated earnings of $2.59 in 2009 and $2.87 in 2010.

The company sells jeans under its BKE brand as well as Guess, Silver Jeans, Hurley and Fossil, and currently operates 393 retail stores in 40 states.

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