PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) today reported EPS for the 14 weeks ended February 3, 2018 of $0.52, compared to $0.30 for the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2017. For the same periods, adjusted EPS was $0.44, which excludes $0.08 of tax benefit discussed below. This compares to adjusted EPS of $0.39 last year, which excluded $0.09 of charges. Adjusted EPS for the quarter increased 13% compared to last year.
For the 53 weeks ended February 3, 2018, the company reported EPS of $1.13, compared to $1.16 for the 52 weeks ended January 28, 2017. For the same periods, adjusted EPS of $1.16 excludes $0.08 of tax benefit discussed below, and $0.11 of restructuring and related charges. This compares to adjusted EPS of $1.25 last year, which excluded $0.09 of charges. The EPS figures refer to diluted earnings per share.
Jay Schottenstein, AEO’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “I’m pleased that we ended 2017 with a strong quarter, achieving record sales and an EPS increase over last year. In the fourth quarter we saw an acceleration in sales, continued sequential margin improvement and EPS growth that was on the high end of our guidance. The digital business continued its exceptional growth, rising over 20% in the quarter, and we were encouraged with improved brick and mortar trends, delivering positive sales comps in both American Eagle and Aerie stores.”
“Looking ahead to 2018, our brands are well‐positioned for growth. American Eagle is a true leader in specialty apparel, with one of the strongest jeans brands in the market, and Aerie is one of the fastest growing lifestyle brands. We started the spring season with positive momentum, positioning us well for strong results in 2018. The dividend increase we announced today reflects confidence in our business, strong free cash flow and our continued commitment to delivering returns to shareholders,” Schottenstein continued.
Adjusted amounts are based on Non-GAAP results, as presented in the accompanying GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation.
Fourth Quarter 2017 Results
- Total net revenue for the 14 weeks increased 12% to $1.23 billion compared to $1.10 billion for the 13 week period last year.The 53rd week provided an additional $43 million of sales.
- Consolidated comparable sales for the 14 weeks increased 8% over the comparable 14 week period last year.
- Gross profit increased to $425 million from $389 million. The gross margin rate decreased 80 basis points to 34.6% of revenue compared to 35.4% last year. The reduction in margin rate reflects higher promotional activity. Additionally, increased shipping costs and higher compensation were offset by rent leverage.
- Selling, general and administrative expense of $264 million leveraged 60 basis points to 21.5% as a rate to revenue. Increased store salaries, due to a strong holiday season and the extra week, and higher incentive compensation drove the dollar increase from $242 million last year.
- Operating income of $116 million includes $2 million of restructuring charges. Adjusted operating income increased 10% to $118 million from $107 million last year, deleveraging 20 basis points to 9.6% as a rate to revenue.
- Adjusted EPS of $0.44 increased 13% compared to adjusted EPS of $0.39 last year.
Fiscal Year 2017 Results
- Total net revenue for the 53 weeks increased 5% to $3.80 billion compared to $3.61 billion for the 52 week period last year.
- Consolidated comparable sales for the 53 weeks increased 4% over the comparable 53 week period last year.
- Gross profit was up slightly to $1.37 billion, or 36.1% as a rate to revenue. Excluding $2 million of restructuring charges, adjusted gross profit as a rate to revenue was 36.2% and deleveraged 170 basis points to last year. The reduction in margin rate was primarily due to higher promotional activity. Additionally, increased delivery to support a strong digital business was offset by rent leverage.
- Selling, general and administrative expense of $880 million leveraged 60 basis points to 23.2% as a rate to revenue. Increased salaries and advertising expense drove the dollar increase from $858 million last year.
- Depreciation expense increased 7% to $167 million compared $157 million last year.
- Operating income of $303 million includes $22 million of restructuring and related charges. Adjusted operating income decreased 8% to $325 million from $353 million last year, deleveraging 120 basis points to 8.6%.
- Adjusted EPS of $1.16 decreased 7% compared to adjusted EPS of $1.25 last year.
As a result of U.S. tax legislation enacted on December 22, 2017 referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the company realized $0.08 per share of tax benefit, which is excluded from adjusted earnings. Specifically, these items relate to:
- Benefit from a lower blended U.S. corporate tax rate in fiscal 2017.
- Net benefit from the re-measurement of deferred tax balances and the one-time transition tax on un-repatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries.
- Benefit from the acceleration of certain deductions into fiscal 2017.
Restructuring and Related Charges
In the fiscal year, the company incurred restructuring and related charges totaling $30 million, or approximately $0.11 per share. This consisted primarily of charges related to the closure or conversion of international owned and operated stores to licensed partnerships, home office restructuring activities and charges related to the planned exit of a joint business venture.
Total ending inventories at cost increased 11% to $398 million, reflecting investments in bottoms, women’s tops and Aerie apparel to support strong sales trends.
In 2017, capital expenditures totaled $169 million. For fiscal 2018, the company expects capital expenditures to be in the range of $180 million to $190 million, with more than half related to store remodeling projects and new openings, and the balance to support the digital business, omni-channel tools and general corporate maintenance.
Quarterly Dividend Increase, Shareholder Returns, and Cash
As a result of our strong cash position, positive free cash flow, and the benefits associated with U.S. tax legislation, we are raising the quarterly dividend 10%, to $0.1375 per share. This marks the company’s 55th consecutive quarterly dividend. The $0.1375 dividend was declared on March 7, 2018 and is payable on April 27, 2018 to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 13, 2018.
During 2017, the company returned $176 million to shareholders through cash dividends and share repurchases. We paid dividends of $89 million and repurchased six million shares for $88 million. The company ended the year with total cash of $414 million, an increase of $35 million compared to the end of 2016.
We ended the year with a total of 1,047 stores. During the year, the company opened 15 AE stores and closed 25, ending the year with 933 AE stores, which included 116 Aerie side-by-side locations. Additionally, the company opened 15 Aerie stand alone stores and closed 8, ending the year with 109 Aerie stand alone stores. Internationally, the company ended the year with 214 licensed stores. For additional store information, see the accompanying table.
First Quarter Outlook
Based on an anticipated comparable sales increase in the mid-single digits, management expects first quarter 2018 EPS to be approximately $0.20 to $0.22. This guidance excludes potential asset impairment and restructuring charges. Last year’s first quarter reported EPS of $0.14 included approximately $0.02 per share of restructuring and related charges. Excluding these items, last year’s first quarter adjusted EPS was $0.16. See the accompanying table for the GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation.
Conference Call and Supplemental Financial Information
Today, management will host a conference call and real time webcast at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To listen to the call, dial 1-877-407-0789 or internationally dial 1-201-689-8562 or go to http://investors.ae.com to access the webcast and audio replay. Also, a financial results presentation is posted on the company’s website.
This press release includes information on non-GAAP financial measures (“non-GAAP” or “adjusted”), including earnings per share information and the consolidated results of operations excluding non-GAAP items. These financial measures are not based on any standardized methodology prescribed by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and are not necessarily comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Management believes that this non-GAAP information is useful for an alternate presentation of the company’s performance, when reviewed in conjunction with the company’s GAAP financial statements. These amounts are not determined in accordance with GAAP and therefore, should not be used exclusively in evaluating the company’s business and operations.
About American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its American Eagle Outfitters® and Aerie® brands. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise also is available at more than 200 international locations operated by licensees in 25 countries. For more information, please visit www.ae.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
This release and related statements by management contain forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which represent our expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including Fiscal 2018 results. All forward-looking statements made by the company involve material risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on many important factors, some of which may be beyond the company’s control. Words such as “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “potential,” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Except as may be required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise and even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized. The following factors, in addition to the risks disclosed in Item 1A., Risk Factors, of the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 28, 2017 and in any subsequently-filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in some cases have affected, and in the future could affect, the company’s financial performance and could cause actual results for Fiscal 2018 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any of the forward-looking statements included in this release or otherwise made by management: the risk that the company’s operating, financial and capital plans may not be achieved; our inability to anticipate customer demand and changing fashion trends and to manage our inventory commensurately; seasonality of our business; our inability to achieve planned store financial performance; our inability to react to raw material cost, labor and energy cost increases; our inability to gain market share in the face of declining shopping center traffic; our inability to respond to changes in e-commerce and leverage omni-channel demands; our inability to expand internationally; difficulty with our international merchandise sourcing strategies; challenges with information technology systems, including safeguarding against security breaches; and changes in global economic and financial conditions, and the resulting impact on consumer confidence and consumer spending, as well as other changes in consumer discretionary spending habits, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and liquidity.