Retailers reported dismal December same-store sales reports after one of the worst holiday seasons in decades, but some teen retailers managed to escape the gloom with positive results.
Overall, same-store sales fell 0.9%, according to Thomson Reuters, the second-worst showing since the company began collecting sales figures in 2000. Same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least one year, are considered a key gauge of a retailers performance because they measure sales at existing stores rather than newly opened ones. Aeropostale ( ARO) was one of the best performers, as same-store sales rose 12%, ahead of the 4.2% decline analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected. The company raised guidance and a Brean, Murray Carret & Co. analyst upgraded the stock to "Hold" from "Sell." Shares rose 71 cents to $20.44 for the day. The Buckle ( BKE), usually a strong performer, also beat expectations. Same-store sales rose 13.5%, even better than the 12% rise analysts expected. Shares rose $1.90, or 9.2% to $22.40. But not all teen retailers fared so well. Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF) posted a 24% same-store sales decline, nearly matching the 23.5% decline analysts expected. The company also warned it will likely miss fourth-quarter guidance. Shares fell $0.83, or 3.5 percent, to $22.91. Pacific Sunwear of California ( PSUN) said same-store sales fell 10%, more than the 9.3% analysts expected, and lowered fourth-quarter guidance. Shares fell 14 cents, or 7.9%, to $1.63.