* Sees 1st-qtr loss 15-20 cts/share vs analysts profit 8 cts
* Sees comparable saled down by double digits
* Shares down 6.7 pct afterhours
March 14 Teen clothing retailer Aeropostale Inc
on Thursday forecast a loss and a sharp drop in sales
for the current quarter, blaming the ongoing need to slash
prices and a weak economy.
Shares fell 6.7 percent to $13.60 in afterhours trading.
Aeropostale reported a net loss of $671,000 or 1 cent per
share, for the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2, compared with a profit of
$26.1 million or 32 cents per share for the year-earlier period,
which included one less week.
Sales fell 1 percent to $797.7 million for the quarter that
included the holiday season, while same-store sales fell 8
The company expects the pressure to slash prices to clear
shelves of unsold merchandise to continue, and forecast a
first-quarter loss of 15 to 20 cents per share. On a conference
call, an executive said that assumed a double-digit comparable
Wall Street analysts were expecting a profit of 8 cents per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Aeropostale has been losing out to rivals like American
Eagle Outfitters Inc and Abercrombie & Fitch Co
and has had trouble engaging its young clientele with its
Wardrobe staples like graphic T-shirts and fleece during
cold weather account for the lion's share of teen clothing
inventories and Aeropostale has had a tough time selling those.
Even its better performing rivals, American Eagle and
Abercrombie gave soft first quarter forecasts, and projected
comparable sales declines.
Retailers that cater to young shoppers on limited budgets,
or those who depend on getting an allowance from parents,
typically are among the first to feel any pullback from
customers hit by a tough economic climate.
Many Americans are dealing with smaller take home pay because
of higher payroll taxes as well as tax refunds that have come
later this year than last.