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American Eagle reduces Q4 earnings guidance
Jan '09
American Eagle Outfitters Inc announced that total sales for the five weeks ended January 3, 2009 decreased 10% to $493.5 million, compared to $546.1 million for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008. Comparable store sales decreased 17% for the month, compared to a 2% decrease for the same period last year.

December sales for the AE brand deteriorated from November and were well below the company's recent expectations. During key December holiday shopping periods, traffic and conversion were disappointing. The company is currently clearing through holiday merchandise and expects to enter the spring season with fresh inventories, consistent with its plan.

Total sales for the year-to-date eleven month period ended January 3, 2009 decreased 2% to $2.849 billion, compared to $2.892 billion for the eleven month period ended January 5, 2008. Comparable store sales decreased 10% for the year-to-date period compared to the same period last year.

The company is reducing its fourth quarter earnings guidance based on lower-than-expected December sales, a revised outlook for January, and increased markdowns. The current fourth quarter earnings expectation is a range of $0.19 to $0.21, which excludes any potential other-than-temporary impairment charge related to investment securities. This compares to fourth quarter EPS of $0.66 last

American Eagle Outfitters Inc

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