AEO Delivers Third Quarter Results Ahead of Expectations with Meaningful Margin Improvement from First Half
- Aerie achieves all-time high third quarter revenue and operating profit
- Actions to right size inventory and expenses fuel sequential profit improvement
- Operating profit of $118 million exceeded pre-pandemic 2019 levels
- Continuing to prioritize profit recovery and cash generation
November 22, 2022
PITTSBURGH — (BUSINESS WIRE) – American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended October 29, 2022.
“I’m pleased to deliver a third quarter that exceeded our expectations, with profit margins meaningfully improved from the first half of the year. Bold actions to rationalize inventory and reduce expenses are paying off. Our inventory is in good shape, up 8% to last year, with progress continuing into the fourth quarter. We are staying disciplined and focused on improving profitability and cash flow, while maintaining a healthy balance sheet,” commented Jay Schottenstein, AEO’s Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
“As we navigate the current macro environment, we remain focused on our strategic initiatives — leading with innovation and judiciously investing in capabilities that will differentiate us in the long-run. Our organization is strong and I have tremendous confidence in the resilience of our brands. We are excited about upcoming merchandise collections and look forward to delivering an exceptional customer experience across brands and channels this holiday season,” Jay continued.
Third Quarter 2022 Results:
- Total net revenue of $1.2 billion was down 3% to the third quarter of 2021. Our supply chain business, Quiet Platforms, contributed approximately 2 percentage points to revenue growth. Brand revenue declined 5%, better than the company’s expectation for a high single digit decline.
- Aerie revenue of $350 million rose 11% versus third quarter 2021, reflecting a 24% 3-year revenue CAGR. Comp sales declined 3% versus third quarter 2021 and was up 59% to third quarter 2019.
- American Eagle revenue of $838 million declined 11% versus third quarter 2021 reflecting a negative 1% 3-year revenue CAGR. Comp sales declined 10% versus third quarter 2021 and was flat to third quarter 2019.
- Consolidated store revenue declined 4%. Total digital revenue declined 5%. Compared to pre-pandemic third quarter 2019, store revenue increased 3% and digital revenue increased 35%.
- Gross profit of $480 million compared to $565 million in the third quarter of 2021 and reflected a gross margin rate of 38.7% compared to 44.3% last year. Higher markdowns and increased product costs drove approximately 400 basis points of the rate decline and Quiet Platforms had a 70 basis point impact as that business continues to scale. Rent and warehousing also deleveraged, partially offset by lower incentive compensation.
- Selling, general and administrative expense of $311 million decreased 1% due to lower incentive compensation. SG&A increased 50 basis points as a rate to sales versus third quarter 2021.
- Operating income of $118 million reflected a 9.5% margin. This included an approximately $10 million loss from Quiet Platforms.
- GAAP diluted EPS of 0.42 includes an approximately $1 million addback to net income of interest expense associated with the company’s convertible notes.
- GAAP average diluted shares outstanding were 196 million including 8 million shares of unrealized dilution associated with the company’s convertible notes
Total ending inventory at cost increased 8% to $798 million compared to $740 million last year, with units up 7%. This reflects a meaningful improvement from last quarter’s increase of 36%, reflecting actions to bring receipts more in line with demand. Inventory is current for the holiday season. The company continues to expect fourth quarter ending inventory to be down to last year.
Capital expenditures totaled $71 million in the third quarter and $199 million year-to-date. Management continues to expect full-year spend to approximate $250 million.
The logistics subsidiary is providing significant operational efficiencies and needed capacity for our brands. The third party customer base is ramping up as other brands look to upgrade their supply chain operations and drive efficiencies across their business to better compete in the current retail environment. As we evaluate our plans for Quiet, we are exploring different options to support future growth.
The quarterly cash dividend remains paused to support financial flexibility, while navigating the near-term macro environment. Year-to-date, the company has returned $265 million in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, reflecting its highest level of returns since 2015.
For the fourth quarter, the company is guiding brand revenue down in the mid single digits, and expects brand comps to be consistent with the third quarter. The company is also guiding fourth quarter gross margin in the range of 32% to 33%, at the higher end of previous guidance. While significant progress has been made in right-sizing inventory, management is taking a cautious view given what is likely to be a highly promotional Holiday season.
Management continues to drive expense reductions across store payroll, corporate expense, professional services and advertising. The company remains on track to deliver $100 million in reductions to the original plan and expect SG&A dollars in the fourth quarter to be approximately flat to last year.
Conference Call and Supplemental Financial Information
Management will host a conference call and real time webcast today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To listen to the call, dial 1-877-407-0789 or internationally dial 1-201-689-8562 or go to www.aeo-inc.com to access the webcast and audio replay. Additionally, a financial results presentation is posted on the company’s website.
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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® and Aerie® brands. Our purpose is to show the world that there’s REAL power in the optimism of youth. The company operates stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong and Japan, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle and Aerie merchandise also is available at more than 260 international locations operated by licensees in 26 countries. In 2022, AEO released its first annual Building a Better World report, which outlines two decades of ESG achievements through the company’s Planet, People and Practices initiatives. For more information, please visit www.aeo-inc.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 fourth quarter and annual fiscal 2022 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 our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2022 and in any other filings that we may make 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 2022 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 negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related operational disruptions; 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 global economic, public health, social, political 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.