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Mall-based retailer Aeropostale raises Q4 guidance

11
Jan '08
Aeropostale Inc, a mall-based specialty retailer of casual and active apparel for young women and men, announced that total net sales for the five-week period ended January 5, 2008 increased 17.5% to a record $313.5 million, from $266.7 million for the five-week period December 30, 2006.

Due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2006, same stores for the month are compared to the five-week period ended January 6, 2007. On this basis, same store sales increased 12.2%.

Year-to-date, total net sales increased 13.8% to a record $1.505 billion, from $1.323 billion for the same period last year. Year-to-date, same store sales increased 3.2% compared to the corresponding period ended January 6, 2007.

Julian R. Geiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said "We are thrilled with our performance for both the month of December and the entire holiday selling season. We received an excellent response from our customers in each of our merchandise categories.

We are very pleased to have had significant increases in comparable store sales, improvements in merchandise margins, and reductions in clearance inventories compared to last year. We remain excited about our opportunities in the spring season as we acknowledge the momentum of our business, the power of our promotions and the positioning of our brand."

Fourth Quarter Guidance:
The Company now expects to achieve fourth quarter earnings of approximately $0.91 per diluted share, including approximately $4.1 million of other income or $0.04 per diluted share relating to the settlement of disputes with a former officer of the company. Excluding the settlement, the company expects fourth quarter earnings of approximately $0.87 per share, versus its previously issued guidance of $0.82 to $0.84 per share.

The Company believes that the disclosure of same store sales on a pro-forma basis due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2006, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, provides investors useful information to help them better understand the company's expected results.

Aeropostale Inc


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