NEW YORK (
) -- Teen retail stocks so far haven't been able to hold a candle -- or even a match -- against
Abercrombie & Fitch
in the first quarter.
The sector is taking a hit following two lackluster reports out of
( HOTT) and
Premium denim retailer Buckle is one of the biggest losers of the day after it missed first-quarter profit estimates. During the quarter, the company earned $33.5 million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $30.1 million, or 64 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting earnings of 73 cents a share.
Buckle's sales, however, surged nearly 12% to $240.1 million, better than the $238.2 million Wall Street predicted.
Buckle is taking a beating in Thursday morning trading, with shares plunging 12.2% to $42.07 this morning.
( HOTT)is also selling off as its first-quarter results on slightly beat consensus estimates.
The teen retailer said Wednesday evening that it widened its loss to $7.7 million, or 17 cents a share, from a loss of $1.8 million, or 4 cents, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, Hot Topic broke even, while analysts were calling for a loss of a penny.
Shares of Hot Topic fell 7.8% to $7.06.
Looking ahead, Hot Topic foresees a loss of 9 cents to 11 cents in its second quarter, which falls in-line with analysts' outlook.
Hot Topic is believed to be on the brink of a sustainable recovery, after it reported its first positive same-store sales number since the first quarter of 2009. The company has been moving away from its goth and punk image and adopting a more kid- and parent-friendly approach, which should allow it to attract a broader audience.
is set to report its first-quarter results after market, and it is expected to be a bloodbath. Earlier in the month, management slashed its outlook.
The company said that sales fell about 7% during the three-month period, while earnings per share will come in at about 20 cents. Aeropostale previously predicted a profit in the range of 35 cents to 38 cents a share, while analysts are calling for a profit of 21 cents.
Aeropostale began struggling when Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters made the decision to begin lowering prices, encroaching on Aeropostale's sweet spot as a value-price leader. The company has now been forced to heavily rely on promotions to move merchandise.
, which will also issue its results at the close, has a better chance of taking on Abercrombie & Fitch.
The skate and surf inspired retailer has been a consistent upside winner, reporting some of the best same-store sales results in the space in recent months.
In typical Zumiez fashion, its guidance is conservative for the quarter, with management expecting between a loss of 3 cents to break even. But Wall Street, which has been accustomed to Zumiez easily clearing its low-balled bar, will need the company to match its whisper forecast in order to move the stock.
These result come after Abercrombie & Fitch reported one of the best first-quarter earnings reports out of the entire retail sector. The preppy apparel retailer swung to a bigger-than-expected profit during the three-month period, receiving a boost from sales overseas.
The teen space is generally considered a good gauge of the discretionary spending. While the economy is improving, analysts remain worried about the sector as a while given several headwinds heading into the second-half of the year.
The biggest question mark is how consumers will react to retailers attempting to pass along higher sourcing costs through raising ticket prices. This will be especially profound if gasoline prices continue to rise, leaving fewer discretionary funds for shoppers.
--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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