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Aeropostale Shares Slide after Outlook

Stocks in this article: ARO ANF

Updated to account for stock-price movement.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Aeropostale (ARO) saw its shares slide by as much as 10% Thursday morning after the teen clothing retailer issued a cautious outlook, even while reporting third-quarter earnings that surged from a year ago.

Less than hour after the opening bell, Aeropostale shares were changing hands at $39.46, down $3.24, or nearly 10%, from their finish in the previous session.

The retailer, which released third-quarter results after the close Wednesday, revised its fourth-quarter guidance to a range between $1.20 to $1.24, the lower end of which fell below the current average analyst estimate of $1.23 a share.

For the just-ended period, Aeropostale posted a profit of $62.6 million, or 92 cents a share, squeaking past the Wall Street consensus target of 91 cents a share. Revenue came to $567.8 million, also slightly better than what analysts had, on average, been expecting: $566.5 million.

As for year-over-year comparisons, Aeropostale's third-quarter profit jumped 47% from last year's $42.6 million, or 63 cents a share. Revenue increased 18% from the $482 million the company took in a year ago.

Same-store sales, the New York-based retailer said, rose 10% for the quarter. For the month of November, however, the pace of Aeropostale's same-store sales growth eased back a bit, rising 7%.

Aeropostale -- which had been one of the stronger names in retail, its stock gaining 130% year-to-date -- fell short of Wall Street expectations with that November sales result. (Analysts were looking for a decline of 7.7%.) It wasn't alone.

There was pain across the retail sector Thursday as the November numbers appeared to prove that consumers didn't spend as much as Wall Street had hoped on the day after Thanksgiving. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) reported disappointing November sales results, and its shares dropped 4%.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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