Dec 2, 2010
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Zumiez Q3 beats Street view, forecasts strong Q4 profit

Dec 2, 2010

Dec 1 - Zumiez Inc November same-store sales that trounced Wall Street's expectations as aggressive promotions combined with its unique merchandise assortment lured shoppers, indicating a strong start to the key holiday season.

Zumiez offers a variety of skateboards, snowboards and other sports apparel and equipment

The Everett, Washington-based company which sells clothing and equipment for skaters, snowboarders and other action sports has been consistently beating monthly same-store sales estimates since May benefitting from the woes of rival Pacific Sunwear of California.

Teen apparel retailer Hot Topic which has been underperforming peers as its merchandise mix has not resonated well with its customers, saw a 6 percent increase in comparable store sales at its namesake division on Black Friday, resulting in a lower than expected decline in November same-store sales.

On a conference call with analysts, Zumiez said it had been as aggressive as its competitors in promotional cadence around the Black Friday shopping period.
"I think we're going to go where the customer wants us to go. That's what we always do," a company executive said on the call.

The teen retailer forecast fourth quarter revenue above analysts' view and sees a same store sales increase in the low double digit to mid-teen range for the period.
"The economy has improved from its low of a year ago and the consumers are willing to spend on discretionary items such as apparel, footwear and accessories," a company executive said on the call with analysts.

The company also said that rising input costs would challenge its abiliy to maintain its product margins in 2011, but said that it would not face any immediate impact.
Clothing companies have been warning that a global cotton shortage would cause prices to go up and eventually see retail price rises in 2011.


For August-October, the company earned 40 cents a share on sales of $135.9 million, against analysts' expectations of 37 cents a share, on revenue of $131.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Zumiez posted a 20.7 percent rise in November same-store sales, beating estimates of a 12.6 percent increase -- the highest expectation for any apparel retailer, according to Thomson Reuters Data.

The company's shares, which have more than doubled in value since the second-quarter results in August, closed at $31.57 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott, Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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