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Aeropostale Reports First Quarter Earnings Per Share Increase of 175.0%

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2004--Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO)

    --  First Quarter Earnings Per Share Increases to $0.11 Versus
        $0.04 in Prior Year

    --  Increases Second Quarter Earnings Guidance to $0.11 Per
        Diluted Share versus Previous Guidance of $0.07 Per Diluted

Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO), a mall-based specialty retailer of active and casual apparel for the teen market, today reported results for the first quarter ended May 1, 2004.

Net sales for the first quarter increased 49.4% to $167.7 million versus $112.2 million in the comparable period last year. First quarter comparable store sales increased 18.9%, compared to an increase of 1.8% in the year ago quarter.

Net income for the first quarter increased 196.4% to $6.3 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, ahead of the company's most recent guidance. This compares to $2.1 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, in the comparable quarter in the prior year.

Julian R. Geiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "These results, which once again exceeded expectations, represent an outstanding start to fiscal 2004. Our positive momentum continues and we are excited about our prospects for the remainder of the year."

The Company today also raised its earnings guidance for the second quarter. The Company now expects to achieve high single digit comparable store sales and earnings per diluted share of $0.11 for the second quarter, versus its previous guidance of $0.07 per diluted share. The company had earnings per share of $0.05 per diluted share in the second quarter of last year.

Mr. Geiger concluded, "Our success to date is directly attributable to our powerful brand, our compelling business model, our distinctive operating formula and our superior ability to execute. We are confident that Aeropostale will continue to achieve consistent, sustainable and profitable growth into the future and we remain committed to building on our unique position in the marketplace."

The Company will be holding a conference call today at 4:15 P.M. to review its first quarter fiscal 2004 results. The broadcast will be available through the 'Investor Relations' link at and at 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 that targets both young women and young men aged 11 to 20. The company provides customers with a selection of high-quality, active-oriented, fashion basic merchandise in a high-energy store environment. The company maintains complete control over the proprietary brand by designing and sourcing all of its own merchandise. Aeropostale products can be purchased only in its stores, which sell Aeropostale merchandise exclusively.

The first Aeropostale store was opened in 1987. The company currently operates 495 stores in 42 states.

Special Note: Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Except for historical information contained herein, the statements made in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the company's strategic direction, prospects and future results. Certain factors, including factors outside of our control, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These factors include the company's ability to implement its growth strategy successfully, changes in consumer fashion preferences, economic and other conditions in the markets in which we operate, competition, seasonality and the other risks discussed in the company's Form 10-K for the year ended January 31, 2004 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which discussions are incorporated in this release by reference.

                               EXHIBIT A
                           AEROPOSTALE, INC.
                            (in thousands)

                                         May 1,   January 31,  May 3,
                                          2004       2004       2003
  Cash and cash equivalents             $104,069   $138,356   $81,087
  Merchandise inventory                   70,958     61,807    48,442
  Other current assets                    17,865     12,284    11,623
     Total current assets                192,892    212,447   141,152
 AND IMPROVEMENTS -- Net                 101,410     92,578    75,617
OTHER ASSETS                               2,029      2,023     8,779
          TOTAL ASSETS                  $296,331   $307,048  $225,548
  Accounts payable                       $34,372    $30,477   $19,834
  Accrued expenses                        30,011     41,091    33,609
     Total current liabilities            64,383     71,568    53,443
OTHER LIABILITIES                         55,721     49,787    39,829
 STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                    176,227    185,693   132,276
      STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY             $ 296,331  $ 307,048  $225,548
                               EXHIBIT B
                           AEROPOSTALE, INC.
                        SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
            (in thousands, except per share and store data)

                                    13 weeks ended     13 weeks ended
                                      May 1, 2004        May 3, 2003

                                              % of              % of
                                              Sales             Sales
NET SALES                           $167,654  100.0%  $112,211  100.0%
COST OF SALES including certain
 buying, occupancy and warehousing
 expenses                            118,547   70.7     81,961   73.0
GROSS PROFIT                          49,107   29.3     30,250   27.0
 EXPENSES                             39,105   23.3     26,967   24.0
INCOME FROM OPERATIONS                10,002    6.0      3,283    2.9
INTEREST INCOME -- Net                  (259)  (0.2)      (181)  (0.2)
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES            10,261    6.1      3,464    3.1
PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES             4,000    2.4      1,352    1.2
NET INCOME                            $6,261    3.7%    $2,112   1.9%
                                    =========         =========

  Basic net income per share           $0.11             $0.04
                                    =========         =========

  Diluted net income per share         $0.11             $0.04
                                    =========         =========

Basic weighted average number of
  shares outstanding(a)                55,820            53,133
Diluted weighted average number of
  shares outstanding(a)                57,700            57,705

Comparable store sales                  18.9%              1.8%

Stores open at end of period             489               387

Total gross square footage
 at end of period                  1,719,607         1,366,738

(a) as adjusted for 3-for-2 stock split effected April 26, 2004

    CONTACT: Aeropostale, Inc.
             Michael J. Cunningham/Kenneth Ohashi, 888-363-2825
             Integrated Corporate Relations
             Investor Relations
             James Palczynski/Chad A. Jacobs, 203-222-9013

    SOURCE: Aeropostale, Inc.