Teen specialty retailer Aéropostale Inc. said Wednesday that third-quarter earnings jumped 10.6 percent, driven by improved margins from more full-priced merchandise and inventory controls.
For the three months ended Nov. 3, earnings reached $36 million, or 48 cents a share, from $32.6 million, or 41 cents, in the same year-ago period. Sales for the quarter rose 7 percent to $412.6 million from $385.5 million, and total same-store sales increased 1.9 percent.
For the nine-month period, earnings soared 30.6 percent to $64.5 million, or 84 cents a share, from $49.4 million, or 61 cents, last year. Sales gained 10.3 percent to $999.6 million from $906.4 million.
"We are very pleased with our results for the quarter, which exceeded expectations," Julian R. Geiger, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "During the quarter we were able to drive consistent comparable-store sales increases, while continuing to improve our gross margins over last year. We also ended the quarter with well-controlled inventories."
During the quarter, the company announced the buyback of 6.3 million shares for about $125.1 million, in addition to its accelerated share repurchase program.
Geiger said that on Black Friday and Saturday, Aéropostale achieved midsingle-digit same-store sales increases. The company expects to deliver higher comps in the midsingle digits for November.
"The reaction to our holiday merchandise assortment has been positive and we remain focused on executing our strategies for the peak holiday selling season," Geiger said in the statement.
Aéropostale forecast fourth-quarter earnings in the range of 82 cents to 84 cents a diluted share and full-year earnings of $1.60 to $1.62 a diluted share.
"Moving forward into next year, we are focused on continuing to [fine-tune our] merchandising approach by further balancing core fashion, identifying...key classifications and developing and introducing new product categories," Mindy Meads, president and chief merchandising officer, said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
The company plans to include a larger share of dresses heading into the spring, and expand in women's accessories with a deeper selection of bags and shoes, Meads said during the call.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast