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Casual apparel retailer Aeropostale raises Q4 guidance

08
Jan '07
Aeropostale Inc announced that total net sales for the five-week period ended December 30, 2006 increased 12.6% to $266.7 million, from $236.8 million for the five-week period ended December 31, 2005. The company's comparable store sales increased 1.7% for the month, on top of a comparable store sales increase of 11.4% last year.

Fiscal year to date, total net sales have increased 16.0% to $1.323 billion, from $1.140 billion in the year-ago period. Fiscal year to date, comparable store sales increased 1.7%, on top of a comparable store sales increase of 3.0% last year.

Julian R. Geiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are very pleased with our overall performance for December, which reflects the strong execution of our merchandising initiatives, the control of our promotional cadence and our investment in brand building. Our gross margins for the month were in line with our plan, and we ended the month with appropriate levels of inventory. We believe we are well positioned to transition into the spring selling season."

The company also updated its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter. The company now believes it will report fourth quarter earnings in the range of $0.98 - $1.00 per diluted share, which includes approximately $6.5 million (net of professional fees) or $0.07 per diluted share, representing a concession by South Bay Apparel Inc to the company concerning prior purchases of merchandise.

Excluding this vendor concession, the company expects fourth quarter earnings in the range of $0.91 - $0.93 per diluted share, compared to its previously issued guidance of $0.89 - $0.91 per diluted share.

This guidance compares to earnings of $0.76 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of last year, an increase of approximately 20% - 22%, excluding the vendor concession discussed above.

The company believes that the disclosure of diluted earnings per share excluding such other income, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, provides investors useful information to help them better understand the company's expected results without the impact of the other income described above.

Aeropostale Inc


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