US teen clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters said it remains on track to meet fourth-quarter earnings expectations after sales in the period so far have risen by 5%. 

Comparable store sales, including the company's online business, were also up 5% in the quarter-to-date period to 8 January, compared to a 13% increase the prior year. 

Excluding its online division, comparable store sales edged up 1% against a 12% jump the year before.

CEO Robert Hanson said: "Although the customer and competitive environment was challenging, I'm pleased with our quarter-to-date performance, especially against strong comp gains last year.

"We are on-track to deliver our earnings expectations, reflecting strengthened merchandise assortments, improved inventory management and controlled promotions. Business has accelerated in the post-Christmas period and we are seeing a good response to our spring transition assortment."

The company also reaffirmed its fourth-quarter EPS guidance of $0.54 to $0.56 per diluted share and mid single-digit consolidated comparable store sales growth. The forecast excludes the potential impact of store impairment charges and tax settlements.

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American Eagle Outfitters Provides Fourth Quarter Update, Reiterates Fourth Quarter EPS Guidance

January 10, 2013

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2013-- American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) today announced that total sales for the quarter-to-date period ended January 8, 2013 increased 5%. Consolidated comparable store sales, including the online business increased 5%, compared to a 13% increase for the same period last year. Excluding the online business, comparable store sales increased 1%, compared to a 12% increase last year.

Management reiterates its fourth quarter EPS guidance of $0.54 to $0.56 per diluted share and mid single-digit consolidated comparable store sales growth. This compares to an adjusted EPS from continuing operations of$0.39 last year, representing growth of 38% to 44%. The guidance excludes the potential impact of store impairment charges and tax settlements. During December, the company repurchased 5 million shares of its common stock for a total of $105 million. The company estimates diluted shares outstanding for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 of approximately 202 million and 201 million, respectively.

Robert Hanson, CEO commented, ?Although the customer and competitive environment was challenging, I?m pleased with our quarter-to-date performance, especially against strong comp gains last year. We are on-track to deliver our earnings expectations, reflecting strengthened merchandise assortments, improved inventory management and controlled promotions. Business has accelerated in the post-Christmas period and we are seeing a good response to our spring transition assortment. Also of note is the strength of our online business, which has increased 24% this quarter, further validating our omni-channel opportunity. I?m proud of how our teams are executing and we remain well-positioned to deliver long-term profitable growth.?

The company will release fourth quarter and annual 2012 fiscal results prior to the market?s open on March 6, 2013 and will host a conference call to review financial results at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on that date. To listen to the call, dial 1-877-407-0789 or internationally dial 1-201-689-8562 five to seven minutes prior to the scheduled start time. The conference call will simultaneously broadcast over the Internet at www.ae.com. Anyone unable to listen to the call can access the replay beginning March 6, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time through March 13, 2013. To listen to the replay, dial 1-877-870-5176, or internationally dial 1-858-384-5517, and reference confirmation code 406212. An audio replay of the conference call will also be available at www.ae.com.

 

Original source: http://ae.online-pressroom.com/releases/index.cfm?view=1773184&category=1&year=2013