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Aeropostale Reports Record Results for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2009

--Fourth Quarter Earnings of $0.99 Per Diluted Share
--Provides First Quarter and Full Year Fiscal 2010 Guidance

NEW YORK, March 11, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE: ARO), a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel for young women and men, today reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2009, and provided guidance for the first quarter and full year fiscal 2010. All references to earnings per share have been adjusted for the 3 for 2 common stock split that was effective on March 5, 2010.

Fourth Quarter Performance

Diluted net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 48% to a record $0.99 per share, compared to net earnings of $0.67 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 42% to $96.6 million, compared to net income of $68.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.

Total net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 16% to $801.2 million, from $690.0 million in the year ago period. Same store sales for the fourth quarter increased 9%, compared to a same store sales increase of 6% last year.

Co-Chief Executive Officers Mindy C. Meads and Thomas P. Johnson, said, "We are very pleased with our strong performance for both the fourth quarter and full year. We continued to build upon our brand momentum and experienced record breaking periods for Aeropostale. These results were achieved through the power of our nimble and flexible operating model, combined with the hard work of our entire organization."

Full Fiscal Year Performance

Diluted net earnings for fiscal 2009 increased 54% to a record $2.27 per share, compared to net earnings of $1.47 per share in fiscal 2008. Net income for fiscal 2009 increased 54% to $229.5 million, compared to net income of $149.4 million in fiscal 2008.

Total net sales for fiscal 2009 increased 18% to $2.230 billion, from $1.886 billion in the year ago period. Same store sales for fiscal 2009 increased 10%, compared to a same store sales increase of 8% last year.

First Quarter and Full Year 2010 Guidance

For the first quarter of fiscal 2010 the Company expects earnings in the range of $0.39 to $0.40 per share, an increase of 26%-29% compared to earnings of $0.31 per share for the first quarter of 2009. For the full year, the Company expects net earnings per share growth of approximately 15%.

Co-Chief Executive Officers Mindy C. Meads and Thomas P. Johnson, commented, "We are very excited about our strong start to the new fiscal year. Our spring merchandise assortment is resonating with our customers and we are well positioned to building upon our successes for the remainder of the year. In the coming year we look forward to growing both Aeropostale and P.S. from Aeropostale, maximizing our real estate opportunities, and investing in technology and in our infrastructure. We are very proud of the accomplishments we have made in our business, and we look forward to achieving another record year in fiscal 2010."

E-commerce

Total net sales from the Company's e-commerce business for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 42% to $63.9 million, from $45.0 million in the year ago period. Total net sales from the Company's e-commerce business for fiscal 2009 increased 48% to $129.0 million, from $87.1 million in the year ago period.

Strong Cash Positioning

The Company ended fiscal 2009 with cash and cash equivalents of $347.0 million, compared to $228.5 million last year, and had no debt outstanding.

Store Growth and Capital Spending

The Company plans approximately $80.0 million in capital expenditures for fiscal 2010 to open approximately 25 Aeropostale stores, approximately 25-30 P.S. from Aeropostale stores, and approximately 40 store remodels, in addition to certain information technology investments. This compares to capital expenditures of approximately $54.0 million in fiscal 2009.

Conference Call Information

The Company will be holding a conference call today at 4:15 P.M. ET to review its fourth quarter results. The broadcast will be available through the 'Investor Relations' link at http://www.aeropostale.com/ and http://www.fulldisclosure.com/. To listen to the broadcast your computer must have Windows Media Player installed. If you do not have Windows Media Player go to the latter site prior to the call, where you can download the software for free.

About Aeropostale, Inc.

Aeropostale, Inc. is a mall-based, specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories, principally targeting 14 to 17 year-old young women and men through its Aeropostale(R) stores and 7 to 12 year-old kids through its P.S. from Aeropostale(TM) stores. The Company provides customers with a focused selection of high-quality, active-oriented, fashion and fashion basic merchandise at compelling values. Aeropostale(R) maintains control over its proprietary brands by designing, sourcing, marketing and selling all of its own merchandise. Aeropostale(R) products can only be purchased in its Aeropostale stores and online at http://www.aeropostale.com/. P.S. from Aeropostale(TM) products can be purchased in P.S. from Aeropostale(TM) stores and online at http://www.ps4u.com/. The Company currently operates 895 Aeropostale stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico, 44 Aeropostale stores in Canada and 14 P.S. from Aeropostale stores in five states.

SPECIAL NOTE: THIS PRESS RELEASE AND ORAL STATEMENTS MADE FROM TIME TO TIME BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMPANY CONTAIN CERTAIN "FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS" CONCERNING EXPECTATIONS FOR SALES, STORE OPENINGS, GROSS MARGINS, EXPENSES, STRATEGIC DIRECTION AND EARNINGS. ACTUAL RESULTS MIGHT DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE PROJECTED IN THE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. AMONG THE FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS TO MATERIALLY DIFFER INCLUDE, CHANGES IN THE COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE, INCLUDING THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW PRODUCTS OR PRICING CHANGES BY OUR COMPETITORS, CHANGES IN THE ECONOMY AND OTHER EVENTS LEADING TO A REDUCTION IN DISCRETIONARY CONSUMER SPENDING; SEASONALITY; RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGES IN SOCIAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND OTHER CONDITIONS AND THE POSSIBLE ADVERSE IMPACT OF CHANGES IN IMPORT RESTRICTIONS; RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH UNCERTAINTY RELATING TO THE COMPANY'S ABILITY TO IMPLEMENT ITS GROWTH STRATEGIES, AS WELL AS THE OTHER RISK FACTORS SET FORTH IN THE COMPANY'S FORM 10-K AND QUARTERLY REPORTS ON FORM 10-Q, FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. THE COMPANY UNDERTAKES NO OBLIGATION TO UPDATE OR REVISE ANY FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS TO REFLECT SUBSEQUENT EVENTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES.




    EXHIBIT A

                                  AEROPOSTALE, INC.
                     CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

                                  (in thousands)

                                                  January 30,   January 31,
                                                      2010         2009
                                                  -----------   -----------
    ASSETS
    Current Assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents                      $346,976      $228,530
      Merchandise inventory                           132,915       126,360
      Other current assets                             40,900        38,991
                                                       ------        ------
         Total current assets                         520,791       393,881

    Fixtures, equipment and improvements, net         251,558       248,999

    Other assets                                       19,960        15,039
                                                       ------        ------

    TOTAL ASSETS                                     $792,309      $657,919
                                                     ========      ========

    LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
    Current Liabilities:
      Accounts payable                                $90,850       $77,247
      Accrued expenses                                150,990        98,190
                                                      -------        ------
         Total current liabilities                    241,840       175,437

    Other non-current liabilities                     115,980       127,422

    Stockholders' equity                              434,489       355,060
                                                      -------       -------

    TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY       $792,309      $657,919
                                                     ========      ========



    EXHIBIT B

                                  AEROPOSTALE, INC.
        CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME AND SELECTED STORE DATA

                  (in thousands, except per share and store data)

                                             13 weeks ended
                                             --------------
                                 January 30, 2010       January 31, 2009
                                 ----------------       ----------------
                                          % of sales             % of sales
                                          ----------             ----------

    Net sales                  $801,223       100.0%  $690,017       100.0%

    Cost of sales
     (including certain
     buying, occupancy and
     warehousing expenses)      490,575        61.2    446,500        64.7
                                -------        ----    -------        ----

    Gross profit                310,648        38.8    243,517        35.3

    Selling, general and
     administrative
     expenses                   151,498        18.9    130,055        18.8
                                -------        ----    -------        ----

    Income from operations      159,150        19.9    113,462        16.5

    Interest expense, net            32         0.0         20         0.0
                                    ---         ---        ---         ---

    Income before income taxes  159,118        19.9    113,442        16.5

    Income taxes                 62,554         7.8     45,217         6.6
                                 ------         ---     ------         ---

    Net income                  $96,564        12.1%   $68,225         9.9%
                                =======        ====    =======         ===

    Basic earnings per share      $1.00                  $0.68
                                  =====                  =====

    Diluted earnings per share    $0.99                  $0.67
                                  =====                  =====

    Weighted average basic
     shares                      96,467                100,233

    Weighted average
     diluted shares              97,982                101,160

    STORE DATA:

    Comparable store sales
     increase                         9%                     6%

    Stores open at end of period    952                    914

    Total square footage at
     end of period            3,428,376              3,284,614

    Average square footage
     during period            3,431,716              3,296,466


      Note:
        All share and per share amounts were given retroactive recognition
        to the three-for-two common stock split that was effective on
        March 5, 2010.



    EXHIBIT C

                                 AEROPOSTALE, INC.
        CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME AND SELECTED STORE DATA

                  (in thousands, except per share and store data)

                                         52 weeks ended
                                         --------------
                            January 30, 2010         January 31, 2009
                            ----------------         ----------------
                                     % of sales              % of sales
                                     ----------              ----------

    Net sales            $2,230,105       100.0% $1,885,531       100.0%

    Cost of sales
     (including certain
     buying, occupancy
     and warehousing
     expenses)            1,382,958        62.0   1,231,349        65.3
                          ---------        ----   ---------        ----

    Gross profit            847,147        38.0     654,182        34.7

    Selling, general and
     administrative
     expenses               464,462        20.8     405,883        21.5
                            -------        ----     -------        ----

    Income from
     operations             382,685        17.2     248,299        13.2

    Interest income, net        121         0.0         510         0.0
                                ---         ---         ---         ---

    Income before income
     taxes                  382,806        17.2     248,809        13.2

    Income taxes            153,349         6.9      99,387         5.3
                            -------         ---      ------         ---

    Net income             $229,457        10.3%   $149,422         7.9%
                           ========        ====    ========         ===

    Basic earnings per
     share                    $2.30                   $1.49
                              =====                   =====

    Diluted earnings per
     share                    $2.27                   $1.47
                              =====                   =====

    Weighted average
     basic shares            99,629                 100,248

    Weighted average
     diluted shares         101,025                 101,364

    STORE DATA:

    Comparable store
     sales increase              10%                      8%

    Average square
     footage during
     period               3,358,199               3,139,515

      Note:
        All share and per share amounts were given retroactive recognition
        to the three-for-two common stock split that was effective on
        March 5, 2010.


    Company Contact:
    ----------------
    Kenneth Ohashi/VP, Investor & Media Relations
    (646) 452-1876 or kohashi@aeropostale.com

    Media Contact:
    --------------
    Leigh Parrish/Diane Zappas, FD
    (212) 850-5600



SOURCE Aeropostale, Inc.


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