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Teen Buyers Flocking To American Eagle

American Eagle Outfitters Inc., with more than 1,000 stores nationwide, was among the clear winners in the heavy Black Friday competition for teenage apparel buyers.

Stores of the specialty clothing retailer were filled with teens spending money, according to eye-witness accounts from retail analysts who visited malls across the country to observe who was buying what and where on Black Friday.

This recent buying spree is only the latest increase in sales for American Eagle. Growth has been steady over the past few months and the momentum apparently has continued.

FactSet, a market intelligence source, had forecast earnings of 37 cents per share for Q3, compared to 27 cents per share for the same period in 2011.

A statement from AE headquarters in Pittsburgh, dated November 28, announced net income for Q3 at $0.39 per diluted share. American Eagle stock (NYSE: AEO) posted a 53 percent gain through 2012, and opened at $20.3 per share on November 29.

CEO Robert Hanson said, “Our third quarter reflected ongoing business momentum, profitable sales growth, and a leading brand and product driven customer experience.”

Looking to the future, Hanson predicted continued growth for the firm.

“We’re also pleased to see business strength carry into the fourth quarter and record results over Thanksgiving weekend,” Hanson said.

“As we look forward, we are sharply focused on executing out strategy plan to drive future profitable growth and top tier shareholder returns,” Hanson continued.

But not all American Eagle units were profitable.

In May of this year, the company stepped away from it children’s apparel business — kids77 — after the unit suffered a major loss in fiscal 2011.

According to data released by American Eagle, net sales increased in their third quarter by 11 percent to $910 million, a record. Last year’s Q3 net sales was $819 million. Gross profits as of the end of Q3 rose 21 percent over last year to $379 million.

Retailers are cautious, however, knowing that teenage tastes and buying trends may suddenly take a 180-degree turn, leaving stores devoid of customers and stocked with unsold inventory.

 

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