Specialty apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) reported higher revenues and earnings for the third quarter. However, the top-line and the management’s guidance for the fourth quarter fell short of expectations, triggering a stock selloff during the extended trading hours Tuesday.
Adjusted earnings jumped 30% annually to $0.48 per share in the third quarter, in line with expectations. Unadjusted earnings were $85.47 million or $0.48 per share, sharply higher than $63.73 million or $0.36 per share reported last year.
Revenues of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company moved up 5% to $1 billion during the three-month period amidst broad-based demand growth, especially during the back-to-school season, which also resulted in a double-digit growth in online sales. Consolidated comparable store sales rose 8%, marking the 15th consecutive quarterly growth. The top-line, however, missed the Wall Street estimates.
“Looking forward, we will leverage our momentum and brand strength as we continue to drive growth and deliver returns to our shareholders,” said CEO Jay Schottenstein. Of late, the company has been investing heavily in the store network and digital channels as part of its efforts to garner a competitive advantage in the sector.
The company opened five American Eagle stores and closed three, ending the October quarter with 941 stores. Also, two Aerie stand-alone stores were opened and one outlet was closed, ending with 110 Aerie stand-alone stores. The company repurchased about one million shares for approximately $25 million during the quarter.
The management expects earnings to be between $0.40 per share and $0.42 per share in the fourth quarter when comparable sales are forecast to be in the positive mid-single digits and revenue growth in the low single digits. The outlook falls short of analysts’ forecast.
Shares of American Eagle Outfitters, which dropped about 22% over the past six months, traded lower throughout Tuesday’s regular trading session. The stock lost about 5% in the after-hours trading.
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