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American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) Fiscal 4Q18 Results: Revenues Up, Comps Up 23% at Aerie, Opening 60-70 Aerie Locations in 2019

AEO reported fiscal 4Q18 revenues of $1.24B, lower than the consensus estimate of $1.B, and up 1.3% YoY. The company reported 4Q18 EPS of $0.43, higher than the consensus estimate of $0.42 and exceeding the company’s guidance of $0.40-$0.42, but lower than the year ago period. American Eagle's fourth quarter comp sales rose 3%, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of comp increases. In 1Q19, the company projects EPS of $0.19 to $0.21, lower than the consensus estimate of $0.24. AEO expects comparable sales to be in the positive low single digits. The company expects to open 60-70 stores in 2019.

Sector Overview: US Apparel Specialty Retailers — Collaborations Are the New Normal

In 2018, U.S. apparel and footwear specialty retailers’ sales totaled $197 billion, according to Euromonitor International, and its analysts forecast sector sales will grow at a CAGR of 3.3% to 2023, reaching $232 billion. Relative to the recent past, 2018’s results were strong. Sportswear and athleisure are driving specialty apparel and footwear sales. We see areas of opportunity in the lingerie and plus-size categories. We expect specialty retailers to continue exploring collaborations, partnerships and global expansion – particularly into China and India.

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO)

American Eagle Outfitters is a specialty retailer headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The retailer offers a range of products including clothing, accessories and personal care products under its American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie brands. It also operates sports clothing brand Tailgate and menswear brand Todd Snyder New York. Apart from its core US market, the company operates in Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China and through its website. The company was founded in 1977.

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