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American Eagle soars on wings on Aerie

American Eagle Outfitters topped Street expectations in its first quarter boosted by continuing strong demand for its intimate apparel brand, Aerie.

“After starting a body positivity movement, Aerie is posting record growth rates and striking a real emotional connection with its expanding customer base,” stated American Eagle CEO Jay Schottenstein.

The teen apparel retailer reported net income of $39.9 million, or 22 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 5, up from $25.2 million, or 14 cents per share, during the same period last year. Adjusted earnings per share increased 44% to $0.23, just beating Street estimates.

Total net revenue increased 8% to $823 million, better than analysts expected. Total same-store sales rose 9%. By brand, American Eagle’s comparable sales increased 4% and Aerie’s comparable sales jumped 38%.

“Strong growth from Aerie is nothing new,” commented Neil Saunders, managing director, GlobalData Retail. “However, a 38% uplift in same-store sales off the back of a 25% increase in the prior year is very impressive. In our view, Aerie's inclusive marketing and proposition continue to resonate with consumers, probably more so now than ever before. This is allowing it to take share from Victoria's Secret and from troubled channels like department stores.”

In his statement, Schottenstein noted that the first quarter marked America Eagle’s 13th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales, leading to an increased operating margin and earnings growth. In addition to Aerie, he cited the chain’s “dominant” jeans business as contributing to growth.

“We are highly focused on our strategic plan, centered on expanding American Eagle, accelerating Aerie’s growth, elevating the customer experience and delivering strong financial returns,” he said.
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