What happened

Shares of The Buckle (NYSE:BKE) soared higher on Friday morning, after the company released earnings results for the second quarter of 2020. Net sales shockingly increased year over year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a nice profit.

Investors loved the results. As of 10:45 a.m. EDT, The Buckle stock was up 23%.

A hand plots an arrow higher on a graph.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The Buckle, like most brick-and-mortar retailers, had to close its 446 stores because of the coronavirus. These started reopening in late April. Right now, all but 15 are open.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, clothing retail has been one of the most effected industries among consumer goods. Through the first seven months of 2020, sales are down 36.5% year over year. But sales showed marked improvement in June and July, down just 21% and 18% respectively.

This might help explain The Buckle's outperformance. While many of its peers end their fiscal quarters in June, The Buckle's fiscal Q2 ended Aug. 1. Therefore, its quarterly results captured more of the broader economic recovery.

But give The Buckle its due. Q2 net sales increased 6% year over year to $216 million, led by 99% growth in e-commerce sales. Because demand was strong, the company's average price point was up from last year -- it relied less on discounts. And since e-commerce comprised nearly a quarter of sales, it gained some operating leverage. These two factors contributed to The Buckle more than doubling net income to $34.7 million.

Now what

The Buckle doesn't give guidance, and in the earnings call it wouldn't comment on the potential impact of back-to-school sales delays or August sales trends. However, one thing it mentioned was rent deferrals. Many of its landlords allowed payments to be delayed during the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, but management expects to catch payments back up before the end of 2020. This could have a small impact on bottom-line results going forward.

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