Aeropostale Earnings Decline

The teen-apparel chain is hurt by a 2.9% drop in same-store sales.
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posted a slight drop in first-quarter earnings Thursday, but the results managed to meet expectations.

The teen-apparel chain's first-quarter profit fell to $8.4 million, or 15 cents a share, from $8.6 million, or 15 cents a share, last year. The latest results include a charge of a penny a share related to the expensing of stock options.

Aeropostale's own guidance had called for earnings of 14 cents to 16 cents a share, though the retailer said earlier this month that it expected earnings at the low end to midpoint of that range. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 15 cents a share.

"We achieved our plan during the quarter by generating increases in our merchandise margins and in our average unit retails," said the company in a statement. "Consistent with our operating strategy, we carefully controlled both the level of our inventories and the depth of our promotions. In addition, we have improved the balance of our merchandise assortment, integrating more fashion forward looks into our mix."

The retailer's sales increased 16% to $246.3 million, but same-store sales, or sales at stores open for at least a year, decreased 2.9%.

For the second quarter, Aeropostale forecast earnings of 15 cents to 17 cents a share, including a charge of a penny a share related to the expensing of stock options. Analysts predict earnings of 17 cents a share. The company projects same-store sales will range from flat to a low-single-digit increase.

Shares of Aeropostale traded down 53 cents, or 2%, to $26.53 in regular trading hours on Thursday, before the results were released.