Holidays Bright for Teen Retailers

American Eagle and Aeropostale have sharp sales gains, although Hot Topic posts a big miss.
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Early returns on December sales from the teen retail space shined after Wednesday's closing bell.

American Eagle Outfitters

(AEOS)

posted a 9.8% gain in same-store sales for December, outperforming Wall Street's expectations for a 2.8% rise. The retailer maintained its fourth-quarter earnings outlook.

Aeropostale

(ARO)

also blew away estimates, recording an 11.3% jump in comps for the month. Wall Street targets called for a 3% gain. The company sharply raised its fourth-quarter profit forecast, predicting earnings of 71 cents to 73 cents a share. The teen-apparel company previously projected earnings of 55 cents to 61 cents a share. Shares shot up $2.20, or 7.9%, to $29.90 in after-hours trading.

A newcomer to the teen retail space,

Zumiez

(ZUMZ) - Get Report

, posted a 20.9% increase in same-store sales for the month. The seller of extreme sports-related clothing and accessories went public last summer.

Hot Topic

(HOTT)

didn't fare as well as its counterparts. December comps declined 6.2%, and the company slashed its fourth-quarter earnings forecast to 21 cents to 24 cents a share from 30 cents to 38 cents a share. Analysts had expected a 3.9% decline in same-store sales. Hot Topic's shares recently dropped 8.5% in after-hours trading to $12.85.