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Profit falls at American Eagle Outfitters on sales decline, charges

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 9:21 a.m.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc.'s profit in the fourth quarter tanked on lower sales and one-time charges.

The South Side-based teen-apparel retailer said net income was $10.5 million, or 5 cents a share, in the 13 weeks ended Feb. 1. That compares with net income of $94.8 million, or 47 cents a share, in the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2013.

“The company's results in 2013 were highly disappointing. While tough macro conditions have persisted in our retail sector, our merchandise and overall customer experience fell short of expectations,” interim CEO Jay Schottenstein said in a statement. “We're taking steps to bring greater focus and excitement to our product offering and better engage our core customers.”

After removing one-time write-offs, American Eagle's adjusted net income in the quarter was 27 cents a share, down from 55 cents a share the year before.

Analysts had expected adjusted net income of 26 cents a share, according to Bloomberg.

Sales were $1 billion in the quarter, down from $1.1 billion the year before. Sales at stores open at least a year declined 7 percent.

The company fired CEO Robert Hanson in January after disappointing holiday sales. Schottenstein, the company's chairman and former CEO, took over on an interim basis.

American Eagle expects first-quarter sales to decline and profit to be flat, as “business conditions remain challenging, with severe winter weather contributing to weak demand.”

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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