But the results were different for others such as discounter Target , which fell short of analysts' expectations and cut its outlook for the fourth quarter.
Target said same-store sales rose 1.6 percent, far short of the 3.1 percent average analyst estimate from Thomson Reuters. As a result of its weak sales, Target cut its fourth-quarter earnings estimate to a range of $1.35 to $1.43 a share, from a prior estimate of $1.43 to $1.53 a share.
"December sales were below our expectations as growth in grocery and beauty offset softness in electronics and music, movies and books," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target, in a press release. "Sales and traffic were strongest in the week leading up to Christmas as guests waited to shop for last-minute gifts."
Others who posted weak results blamed the mild winter temperatures, which hurt sales of winter apparel and other winter merchandise.
"December sales and margin were negatively impacted by unseasonably mild weather in all our markets throughout the month," said Tony Buccina, vice chairman, president, merchandising at Bon-Ton Stores, in a press release. "Cold-weather categories, which are highly profitable and represent approximately 25 percent of our business in December, were down mid-teens on a percentage basis.”
Bon-Ton's weak December sales prompted the retailer to widen its estimated loss for the year.
But the story was much different elsewhere. Teen retailers Zumiez and The Buckle smashed their final estimates and reported same-store sales gains of 10 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.
Limited Brands , parent of Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret, also outpaced analysts' estimates, which called for a 5.7 percent same-store sales gain. The retailer's same-store sales rose 7.0 percent last month.
Both Limited and Zumiez raised their estimates for fourth-quarter earnings.
A run-down of the results so far follows: