Aeropostale holiday sales weak; shares sink

Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:32am EST

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Jan 10 (Reuters) - Teen clothing retailer Aeropostale Inc said demand had weakened during the holiday selling period, while rival American Eagle Outfitters Inc said sales had risen and post-Christmas selling was strong.

For the holiday selling period ended Jan. 8, American Eagle said total sales had risen 5 percent. For Aeropostale, which gave numbers for the nine weeks ended Dec. 29, sales fell 6 percent.

"Following a strong Black Friday weekend, sales and traffic trends deteriorated significantly in December," Aeropostale Chief Executive Officer Thomas Johnson said in a statement.

The weak sales prompted Aeropostale to cut back on its expectations for its fourth quarter.

The company now expects net earnings of 20 cents to 24 cents per share, compared with its earlier outlook of 36 cents to 41 cents.

Shares of the company were down 10.2 percent at $12.00 in trading before the market opened.

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