American Eagle Outfitters offered a cautious outlook for the first quarter based on concerns about macro-economic headwinds and unfavorable weather even as the South Side teen clothing retailer reported profit during the recent holiday quarter was almost twice that of the previous year.
The company this morning said profit of $94.8 million, or 47 cents per share, in the fourth quarter that ended Feb. 2 was up from $51.3 million, or 26 cents per share, during the same period in 2012.
Excluding one-time adjustments, American Eagle earnings per share were 55 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been looking for 56 cents per share.
The company said sales in the holiday quarter grew to $1.2 billion from $1.03 billion during the same period a year earlier.
For the full fiscal year, American Eagle reported a profit of $232 million, or $1.16 per share, compared to $151.7 million, or 77 cents per share.
Sales for the year rose to $3.48 billion compared to $3.12 billion the previous year.
"In a competitive and volatile consumer environment, we drove a strong top line on leaner inventories, reduced markdowns and achieved cost leverage," CEO Robert Hanson said in a prepared statement.
He said the company is fortifying its brands in North America even as it lays the ground work for global expansion.
The company is projecting first-quarter earnings in the range of 16 cents to 19 cents per share. Analysts had been looking for 25 cents per share.
American Eagle also approved an increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 12.5 cents per share, up from 11 cents.
The higher dividend will begin in the second quarter.
Teresa F. Lindeman: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2018.