Forecast Brings Down American Eagle

Shares fall after the retailer gives a soft guidance for the current quarter.
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American Eagle Outfitters

(AEOS)

posted a 40% jump in fourth-quarter earnings, matching expectations, but the teen-apparel retailer gave a soft forecast for the current quarter.

Shares were trading down 93 cents, or 3.1%, to $28.90.

American Eagle's fourth-quarter profit rose to $150.2 million, or 66 cents a share, from $107.5 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. The earnings matched Thomson Financial's average analyst estimate, as well as American Eagle's recent projection.

Total sales rose 27% to $973.4 million from $769.1 million a year earlier. The latest quarter benefited from an extra week of sales in the period. Sales jumped 14% on a same-store basis, which measures sales at stores open at least a year and adjusts to account for the extra week.

For the first quarter, American Eagle projected earnings of 31 cents to 33 cents a share. Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 33 cents a share.

The retailer also reported its February sales data, posting a 6% same-store sales rise for the period. Total sales jumped 16% to $166.3 million.