By  on March 7, 2012

Robert Hanson has his work cut out for him at American Eagle Outfitters Inc., where he assumed the chief executive officer position on Jan. 30. The teen retailer’s growth trajectory has fizzled, higher raw materials and manufacturing costs have compressed margins and its aerie intimates concept is stalled.

Increased discounting during the holidays and higher merchandise costs crimped fourth-quarter earnings at the Pittsburgh-based company. For the three months ended Jan. 28, net income declined 41.1 percent to $51.3 million, or 26 cents a diluted share, from $87 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The results included store impairment charges of 7 cents a diluted share and executive transition costs of 2 cents stemming from the exit of former ceo James O’Donnell.

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