Revenue, profit drop at American Eagle

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The teen clothing sector has been rough this fall, and American Eagle Outfitters hasn’t escaped the problems.

The South Side retailer this morning reported a revenue drop of 6 percent to $857 million in the third quarter, down from $910 million during the same period a year ago..

Profit of $24.9 million, or 13 cents per share, in the three months ended Nov. 2 was down from $78.6 million, or 39 cents per share, last year.

Adjusted for one-time events, earnings per share hit 19 cents, a 54 percent drop from last year’s 41 cents, the company said.

“Our financial performance is clearly unsatisfactory and not consistent with our objectives,” CEO Robert Hanson said in the prepared statement. “As we continue to navigate through an intensely promotional North American retail landscape, we are making improvements in merchandising and marketing, while aggressively pursuing efficiency gains, expense reductions and ensuring disciplined inventory management.”

Sales in stores that have been open at least a year, including the online operation, fell 5 percent during the third quarter, compared to a 10 percent increase last year.

The company said the important fourth quarter, which includes holiday sales, is off to a slow start. At this point, management is projecting earnings per share will be in the range of 26 to 30 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been looking for 39 cents per share.

The company also this morning announced that Chad Kessler has been named to the position of executive vice president, chief merchandising and design officer for the American Eagle brand. He'll start in February, succeeding Fred Grover, who is retiring.

Teresa F. Lindeman: or 412-263-2018.

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