NEW YORK, Sep 30, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
3Q02 EPS Expected to be $0.31 to $0.33 and 4Q02 EPS Guidance Now $0.30 to $0.34 Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE: ARO), a
fast-growing, mall-based specialty retailer of active and casual apparel for the
teen market, today announced that primarily because of a drop in mall traffic
and reduced customer activity beginning in mid-September, the Company has
revised earnings guidance for the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2002.
The Company believes this drop in mall traffic is likely to continue and now
expects a mid teens decline for October comparable store sales. The slowdown in
customer activity has prompted the Company to increase promotional activity to
stimulate sales and reduce inventory levels. As a result, the Company is
anticipating reduced gross margins.
Julian R. Geiger, Chief Executive Officer of Aeropostale, Inc. "We began the
early back to school season with a strong sales trend and posted good results in
August and early September despite challenging year-ago comparisons. In mid
September, however, we began to experience a significant reduction in our sales
activity versus our business plan. Our mens' business is performing
significantly below our planned expectations and our womens' business, while
stronger, has also experienced a recent slowdown versus our projected sales
trend. As a result, we believe it is necessary to revise our guidance for the
remainder of the fiscal year."
With respect to the third quarter ended November 2, 2002, the Company now
believes it is likely to report fully-diluted earnings per share in the range of
$0.31 to $0.33. Fully-diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter ended
February 1, 2003 are now expected to be in the range of $0.30 to $0.34.
Mr. Geiger continued, "We are disappointed that the retail environment has
slowed and affected our customers' spending, however, we are confident we can
achieve appropriate inventory levels and position the business for improved
The Company will hold a conference call to discuss this announcement Tuesday,
October 1, at 8:30 am EST. While the question and answer session of the call
will be limited to analysts and investors, retail brokers and individual
investors are invited to attend a live webcast. The broadcast will be available
through the `Investors Relations' link at www.aeropostale.com and at
www.companyboardroom.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.
For those interested parties without Internet access, there will also be a
listen-only phone line available. U.S callers, please dial (888) 571-5411 to
listen. International callers, please dial (416) 646-3096 to listen.
About Aeropostale, Inc.
Aeropostale, Inc. is a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and
accessories hat 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. As of September 30, 2002, the
Company operated 357 stores in 35 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
prospectus dated May 16, 2002 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
which discussions are incorporated in this release by reference.
CONTACT: Aeropostale, Inc.
Michael J. Cunningham, 973/872-5677
For Investor Relations:
Integrated Corporate Relations
James Palczynski/Chad A. Jacobs
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