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Thrilling performance of Aeropostale brand
Dec '09
Aeropostale, Inc. a mall-based specialty retailer of active and casual apparel for young women and men, reported results for the third quarter ended October 31, 2009 and total net sales for the four-week period ended November 28, 2009.

Third Quarter Results

Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 46% to a record $0.92 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $0.63 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the third quarter increased 47% to a record $62.6 million, compared to net income of $42.6 million in the same period last year.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2009, total net sales increased 18% to $567.8 million, from $482.0 million in the year-ago period. Same store sales for the third quarter increased 10%, compared to an increase of 7% in the year-ago period.

Julian R. Geiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are thrilled with our record breaking performance for the third quarter. Results such as these underscore the strength of the Aeropostale brand, as well as the nimble and flexible nature of our business model. We know our customers well, and we continue to offer them a fresh, focused and balanced merchandise assortment at compelling values."

November Sales Results

Total net sales for the four-week period ended November 28, 2009 increased 14% to $228.0 million, from $200.9 million for the four-week period ended November 29, 2008. The Company's same store sales increased 7% for the month, compared to a same store sales decrease of 5% in the year ago period. The Company noted that its gross margins for the month increased over last year, and its inventories remain well controlled and on plan.

Year to date total net sales have increased 19% to $1.657 billion, from $1.396 billion in the year ago period. Year to date same store sales increased 10%, compared to 7% same store sales last year.

Fourth Quarter Guidance

The Company announced its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. The Company expects earnings in the range of $1.20 to $1.24 per diluted share for the fourth quarter.

The Company achieved diluted earnings per share of $1.01 in the fourth quarter last year.

Mr. Geiger concluded, "We are very pleased with our strong start to the holiday selling season. Our same store sales for the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving Day increased 10% and our gross margins increased over last year. The reaction to our holiday merchandise assortment has been positive and we remain focused on executing our strategies for the fourth quarter and beyond."

Store Growth and Capital Spending

The Company plans to invest approximately $70 million in capital for fiscal 2010 to open approximately 25 Aeropostale stores, approximately 25-30 P.S. from Aeropostale stores, and approximately 40 store remodels, in addition to certain information technology investments. This compares to capital expenditures of approximately $50 million in fiscal 2009.

Aeropostale Inc

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