Mar 4, 2010
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Zumiez February same-store sales rise 11.2 percent, shares up

Mar 4, 2010

By Mihir Dalal

BANGALORE, March 3 (Reuters) - Skate and snow-boarding inspired retailer Zumiez Inc (ZUMZ.O) posted a much higher-than-expected rise of 11.2 percent in February sales at stores open for at least a year, sending its shares up 8 percent after the bell.


Zumiez, which sells clothing and equipment for skaters, snowboarders and the like, posted a rise in comparable-store sales for the third consecutive month, following months of decline.

"The report showed surprising double-digit percentage comp gains each week of the month, and only a modest hit to the East Coast store base from storms," Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi said by email.

Jefferies & Co analyst Randal Konik said Zumiez's results indicated that the actions sports category was stabilizing, and the company's business itself had stabilized and was accelerating.

"We should expect continued sales improvement at this company in coming months/quarters," the analyst said in a note to clients.

Konik sees upside to Street expectations when the company reports fourth-quarter earnings next week, saying inventories remained lean and sales of high-margin accessories had improved recently.

Total net sales for the four-week period ended Feb. 27, rose 19.6 percent to $27.6 million.

Analysts on average expected same-store sales at the retailer to rise 1.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Shares of Zumiez were up $1.26 at $17.27 after the bell. They closed at $16.01 Wednesday 3 March on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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