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American Eagle Outfitters Reports Record Annual Sales Of $3.5 Billion And 43% Growth In Adjusted EPS

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) today reported adjusted fiscal year 2012 earnings for the 53 weeks ended February 2, 2013 of $1.39 per share, a 43% increase from fiscal year 2011 adjusted earnings of $0.97 per share for the 52 weeks ended January 28, 2012. GAAP earnings of $1.16 per share this year include a loss from discontinued operations of ($0.16) per share, a tax benefit of $0.06 per share and restructuring and store impairment charges of ($0.13) per share. The EPS figures refer to diluted earnings per share.

Robert Hanson, chief executive officer stated, “I’m extremely pleased with our progress in 2012 as the team delivered on our near-term priorities and exceeded our targeted financial metrics. In a competitive and volatile consumer environment, we drove a strong top line on leaner inventories, reduced markdowns and achieved cost leverage. We remain focused on our strategic plan aimed at fortifying our brands and processes and growing our business across North America. Concurrently, we are laying the ground work for transformational global expansion, while continuing to drive strong returns to our shareholders.”

For the 14 weeks ended February 2, 2013 the company reported adjusted earnings of $0.55 per share, a 41% increase compared to adjusted EPS of $0.39 for the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2012. EPS was in line with the company’s guidance. GAAP earnings of $0.47 per share this year include a tax benefit of $0.04 per share and restructuring and store impairment charges of ($0.12) per share. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures is provided in the following tables.

Cash Distributions to Shareholders

The board of directors authorized 20 million shares under a new share repurchase program and raised the quarterly cash dividend to $0.125 per share, a 14% increase. Due to the early payment of the first quarter dividend of $0.11, which was paid on December 28, 2012, the increased dividend distribution will begin in the second quarter. In 2012, the company returned $577 million to shareholders through dividend payments totaling $403 million and repurchased 8.4 million shares for a total of $174 million. After cash distributions, the company ended fiscal 2012 with total cash and short-term investments of $631 million.

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