Aeropostale Posts Rise in Profit

The company's quarterly sales jump 31%.
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Teen clothing retailer



reported a rise in third-quarter earnings on a 31% surge in sales, helped in part by strong performances in its new stores.

The company earned $21.9 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with $15 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. Sales were $220.1 million, compared with $169.2 million in the prior-year quarter. Comparable store sales rose 5.2% on top of a 5% rise in the year-earlier period.

The company also said it had better merchandise margins in the quarter.

Additionally, Aeropostale is "optimistic" on the coming holiday season and believes that its "merchandise assortment is focused and trend right." The company expects fourth-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share, in line with Thomson First Call estimates.

"Our momentum is good, our inventories are clean and we are well positioned for the holiday selling period," said Chief Executive Julian R. Geiger in a press release.

The company also announced a $35 million share repurchase program.

Shares of New York-based Aeropostale closed up 35 cents, or 1.2%, at $29.05.