NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Buckle (BKE - Get Report) shares are down 4.27% to $49.08 in trading on Thursday after the teen apparel retailer reported a 2.7% decline in same store sales compared to the same period last year.

Net sales for the period fell by 0.9% to $88.6 million from net sales of $89.5 million during the same period last year.

The Kearney, NB-based company reported a similar decline in January same store sales last month with sales falling 0.8% year over year, though net sales fared better, increasing 3.6% to $58.9 million from $56.9 million during the same period  a year ago.

The company announced that it would release its fourth quarter and full year financial results on March 13. Analysts are expecting the company to report earnings $1.24 per share on revenue of $353.3 million.

TheStreet Ratings team rates BUCKLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BUCKLE INC (BKE) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • BKE's revenue growth trails the industry average of 13.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • BKE has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, BKE has a quick ratio of 1.92, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $45.99 million or 6.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, BUCKLE INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 13.79%.
  • 46.38% is the gross profit margin for BUCKLE INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of BKE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BKE's net profit margin of 13.90% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BKE Ratings Report