PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) today reported EPS of $0.22 for the quarter ended May 5, 2018, compared to $0.14 for the quarter ended April 29, 2017. Excluding restructuring charges of $0.01, the company’s adjusted EPS increased 44% to $0.23, compared to adjusted EPS of $0.16 last year.
Adjusted amounts are based on Non-GAAP results, as presented in the accompanying GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation.
First Quarter 2018 Results
- Total net revenue increased 8% to $823 million compared to $762 million last year.
- Consolidated comparable sales increased 9% over the comparable period ending May 6, 2017.
- By brand, American Eagle’s comparable sales increased 4% and Aerie’s comparable sales increased 38%.
- Gross profit increased 10% to $304 million from $278 million. The gross margin rate increased 50 basis points to 37.0% of revenue compared to 36.5% last year, reflecting rent leverage and a favorable markdown rate, partially offset by increased digital delivery expense.
- Selling, general and administrative expense of $210 million leveraged 10 basis points to 25.5% as a rate to revenue due to strong comparable sales. Higher store compensation and incentive expense drove the majority of the increase from $195 million last year.
- Depreciation expense increased 4% to $42 million from $40 million last year, leveraging 20 basis points to 5.1% as a rate to revenue.
- Operating income of $51 million, which includes $1.6 million of restructuring charges, compared to $37 million last year. Adjusted operating income increased 23% to $52 million from $42 million last year, leveraging 80 basis points to 6.4% as a rate to revenue.
- EPS of $0.22 increased 57% compared to EPS of $0.14 last year. Adjusted EPS of $0.23 increased 44% compared to adjusted EPS of $0.16 last year.
Jay Schottenstein, AEO’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “I’m very pleased to see our momentum continue. The first quarter marked our 13th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales, leading to an increased operating margin and earnings growth, which exceeded our expectations. American Eagle leveraged strong brand equity and its dominant jeans business to deliver comparable sales gains across brick and mortar stores and e-commerce. After starting a body positivity movement, Aerie is posting record growth rates and striking a real emotional connection with its expanding customer base. We are highly focused on our strategic plan, centered on expanding American Eagle, accelerating Aerie’s growth, elevating the customer experience and delivering strong financial returns.”
In the first quarter, the company incurred restructuring charges primarily related to corporate severance, totaling $1.6 million, or approximately $0.01 per share.
Total ending inventories at cost increased 11% to $404 million, in line with the company’s expectations. The increase reflected the company’s clearance store strategy and the support of strong sales trends in American Eagle and Aerie. Looking forward, we expect second quarter ending inventory to be up in the high-single digits.
In the first quarter, capital expenditures totaled $47 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.
Shareholder Returns, Cash and Investments
During the first quarter, the company returned $69 million to shareholders through cash dividends and share repurchases. We repurchased 2.3 million shares for $45 million and paid dividends of $24 million. As a result of strong free cash flow, we ended the quarter with total cash and investments of $310 million compared to $225 million last year.
During the quarter, the company opened 4 American Eagle stores and closed 2, ending with 935 American Eagle stores, including 118 Aerie side-by-side locations. Additionally, the company opened 1 Aerie stand-alone store and closed 1, ending with 109 Aerie stand-alone stores. Internationally, the company ended the quarter with 217 licensed stores. For additional store information, see the accompanying table.
Second Quarter Outlook
Based on an anticipated comparable sales increase in the mid-single digits, management expects second quarter 2018 EPS to be approximately $0.27 to $0.29. This guidance excludes potential asset impairment and restructuring charges. Last year’s second quarter reported EPS of $0.12 included approximately $0.07 per share of restructuring and related charges. Excluding these items, last year’s second quarter adjusted EPS was $0.19. 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. Additionally, 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 24 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 second quarter 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 February 3, 2018 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 second quarter 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.