Aeropostale Meets Targets

Third-quarter earnings jump 25%. November comps increase 1%.
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Aeropostale's

(ARO)

third-quarter profit jumped 25% as the teen-apparel retailer recorded improvements in both sales and margins.

The company said Wednesday that its earnings rose to $32.6 million, or 61 cents a share, from $26.1 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.

The results were in line with Aeropostale's guidance of 60 cents to 61 cents a share, as well as Thomson First Call's mean analyst estimate of 61 cents.

Sales jumped 19% to $385.5 million from $324.7 million, while same-store sales increased 5.6%. Wall Street projected sales of $384 million.

"Our overall results for the third quarter exceeded our initial expectations and are a result of broad-based improvements in our business," said Chairman and CEO Julian Geiger in a statement. "During the quarter, we experienced solid sales and margin growth in classifications which will continue to drive our business for the remainder of the year."

For the fourth quarter, Aeropostale expects earnings of 89 cents to 91 cents a share, bracketing analysts' mean estimate of 90 cents.

Aeropostale also said that its November same-store sales rose 1%, while total sales for the month increased to $149.7 million from $134.3 million a year earlier. The company said it had a mid-single-digit same-store sales increase for the all-important Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.