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AE's Q1 earnings gain 20%

May '06
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc announced that earnings for the first quarter ended April 29, 2006 increased 20 percent to $0.42 per diluted share from $0.35 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, 2005.

Included in the first quarter 2006 earnings per diluted share of $0.42 is $0.02 per share of stock option expense, which was not included last year. Net income for the fiscal 2006 first quarter increased to $64.2 million from $55.3 million for the same period last year.

"I'm extremely pleased with our first quarter performance, which improved on outstanding results in the first quarter of last year," said American Eagle CEO Jim O'Donnell. "We achieved strong sales and earnings growth, demonstrating consistent performance. And importantly, we made solid progress on a number of strategic growth initiatives."

First Quarter Results
Total sales increased 14 percent to $522.4 million from $456.5 million in the corresponding period last year. Comparable store sales increased 9 percent compared to a 27 percent increase last year.

Gross profit for the first quarter increased to $253.8 million, or 48.6 percent as a percent to sales, from $222.2 million, or 48.7 percent as a percent to sales last year.

The slight decline in gross profit as a percent to sales was due to a lower merchandise margin against a record high from last year, partially offset by the leveraging of buying, occupancy and warehousing costs.

Selling, general & administrative expense of $135.8 million was 26.0 percent as a percent to sales, compared to $116.5 million, or 25.5 percent as a percent to sales last year.

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