Early Retail Looks Spotty

Aeropostale sales are weak and it lowers guidance.
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The first wave of July retail reports looked spotty, led by

Aeropostale

(ARO)

, which delivered an unexpected same-store sales decrease and lowered its earnings guidance.

The New York-based chain store said same-store sales fell 4.2% in July from a year ago, disappointing Wall Street, which expected a modest gain in sale-store sales. Based on the performance, the company lowered its second-quarter earnings estimate to 12 cents or 13 cents a share, down from 16 cents to 19 cents a share.

"While our 'wear now' knits and denim categories are performing well, the initial performance of certain back to school merchandise including sweaters, fleece and corduroy pants have been significantly below our expectations," the company said. Second-quarter sales totaled $232.8 million, up 19.5% from a year ago.

Meanwhile,

American Eagle Outfitters

(AEOS)

said July comps rose 17.1% from a year ago, about 2 percentage points above the Wall Street forecast.

The Warrendale, Pa., company said it now expects to earn 35 cents or 36 cents a share in the second quarter, up from its old estimate of 34 cents to 35 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 36 cents a share. The company's total sales were $513.3 million in the second quarter, up 25.4%.

Goth outfitter

Hot Topic

(HOTT)

formalized a warning it issued last week, saying July same-store sales fell 5% from a year ago. The company previewed earnings of 2 cents to 4 cents a share for its quarter on July 28.