Early reports of March same-store sales after the bell Wednesday showed stronger-than-expected results from three teen-focused chains.
American Eagle Outfitters
said that same-store sales surged 20% for the month, flying by Wall Street's estimate for an 11.1% rise. Total sales for the five weeks ended April 7 jumped 35% to $201.6 million.
The company, crediting on-trend spring clothing and a well-received spring break marketing campaign, raised its first-quarter earnings forecast. American Eagle now sees earnings of 34 cents to 35 cents a share, up from an earlier view of 31 cents to 33 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predict earnings of 33 cents a share.
Meanwhile, perennial laggard
also managed to top Wall Street's expectations. The seller of music-themed apparel and accessories said same-store sales rose 3.4% in March, compared with analysts' forecast for a 0.5% rise.
Hot Topic, which has been in a prolonged sales slump, said total March sales climbed 7% to $63.3 million. Shares were rising 31 cents, or 2.8%, to $11.25 in late trading Wednesday.
also was gaining after the retailer of extreme-sports goods posted a 17% jump in March same-store sales. Wall Street expected a 9.8% rise, according to Thomson First Call. Shares were adding 69 cents, or 1.7%, to $41.35 after hours.
One retail disappointment came from
, which didn't release March figures but said it expects first-quarter earnings to be at the low end of its guidance, primarily due to softening U.S. sales. The company's forecast had called for first-quarter earnings of 63 cents to 67 cents a share.
Shares of Men's Wearhouse were falling $2.93, or 6.3%, to $43.90 in late trading.
Most of the other major retail chains will report their results Thursday morning, and the sales are generally expected to show big gains due to a shift in the Easter holiday this year. Earlier Wednesday, discount giant
posted a 12% jump in March same-store sales, in line with expectations.