Sales Shortfall Zaps Zumiez

The action-sports seller slashes its profit forecast after holiday sales disappoint.
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Holiday sales at Zumiez (ZUMZ) - Get Report fell short of targets, prompting the retailer to slash its profit projections for the fiscal year.

The seller of action sports-related goods said Monday that its same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, rose 3.9% for the five-week period ended Jan. 5. Total sales increased 15% to $72 million.

Based on these results, Zumiez now predicts earnings of 82 cents to 83 cents a share for the fiscal year, down from its prior guidance of 92 cents to 94 cents a share. That prior outlook was already lowered in November from Zumiez's earlier targets.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected earnings of 93 cents a share for the year. Last year, Zumiez recorded a profit of 73 cents a share.

"While we were pleased to again report positive comparable store sales in December against a very tough comparison, we fell short of our expectations for the month," said Chairman and CEO Rick Brooks in a statement. "Although holiday sales were positive, we did not experience the across the board strength that we had planned for."

Zumiez is considered a high-growth retailer that prior to recent bumps had consistently posted double-digit gains in monthly same-store sales. In the prior year, December same-store sales jumped 11.5%.

The company's shares, however, have plunged 65% since reaching a 52-week high of $53.99 in October as sales have slowed and investors fret about a slowdown in consumer spending.

The stock recently was down $1.26, or 6.7%, to $17.39.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.