Zumiez Inc. shares jumped nearly 6% in Tuesday premarket trading after the clothing and accessories retailer after holiday results and better-than-expected quarter-to date sales drove an upward revision of fourth-quarter guidance. Zumiez said comparable sales for the holiday period rose 6.8%. The company now expects comparable sales for the quarter to rise 6%, exceeding the FactSet guidance for a 4.4% rise. The previous guidance was for comparable sales growth of 2% to 4%. Earnings per share are expected to be between $1.34 to $1.38 versus previous guidance for $1.26 to $1.32. The FactSet consensus is for $1.35. “While we were not expecting a holiday sales update by Zumiez, we suspect the company may have issued the release to help ease any concerns following mixed reports by others,” wrote Baird analysts. “December strength likely included good full-priced selling with footwear (after starting quarter negative) as well as potentially good performance for trending apparel brands (i.e., Danny Duncan) and skate hardgoods probably also contributing.” Baird rates Zumiez stock neutral with a $35 price target. And Wedbush analysts are cautious. “We see product margin pressures ahead given the ongoing mix shift to international and continued growth in hardgoods,” Wedbush said. “This coupled with the challenges in women’s is cause for caution, and we continue to see more downside than upside at current levels.” Wedbush rates Zumiez stock underperform with a $28 price target, up from $25. Zumiez shares have gained 58.3% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 27.2% for the period.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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