Rue21 (RUE) is a specialty clothing retailer focused on the teen/tween/young adult consumer. Make no mistake about it, Rue21 has a very fickle customer base as can be seen by the ups and downs of many of its competitors in the industry such as Aeropostale (ARO), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Urban Outfitters (URBN) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO).
2011 was a tough year for this sub-sector. With the exception of Abercrombie & Fitch and Rue21, all of the other companies experienced significant earnings declines in 2011.Rue21 is expected to grow earnings by 25% in 2011 and 15% in 2012. The company is on an expansion program which should help feed future growth. I believe that the current year's estimates may be on the low side by as much as 5 to 10 cents. This stock is heavily shorted, with nearly 40% of the float being short and a short ratio of about 13. Any surprises to earnings could send this stock into a major short squeeze.