American Eagle Profit Soars

The teen-apparel retailer declares a 3-for-2 stock split.
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Teen-clothing seller

American Eagle Outfitters

(AEOS)

flew past earnings estimates and offered a rosy outlook for the holiday period.

The retailer also declared a 3-for-2 stock split.

The company said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings rose to $100.9 million, or 66 cents a share, from $73.3 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.

The results topped American Eagle's guidance of 64 cents to 65 cents a share given earlier this month. The company's forecast for the period had already been raised several times from the original projection of 52 cents to 54 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had an average estimate for earnings of 65 cents a share.

American Eagle's sales climbed to $692.3 million from $580.5 million, while same-store sales surged 13%.

"On-trend assortments and well-managed inventories led to our best third quarter operating margin and the eleventh consecutive quarter of record sales and earnings," said CEO Jim O'Donnell in a press release.

American Eagle said the holiday season has started off well, with a positive customer response to its new collection. The company forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 94 cents to 96 cents a share, above the current Wall Street projection of 91 cents.

Separately, American Eagle said its shareholders of record Nov. 24 will receive three shares of stock for every two shares held. The additional shares will be distributed Dec. 18.

Shares of American Eagle recently were up 9 cents to $47.15.