AEO Inc. Reports Record Third Quarter Revenue and Strong Operating Proﬁt;
Updated Annual Outlook Reﬂects Improved Demand and Proﬁt Improvement Initiatives
- Record third quarter revenue of $1.3 billion, up 5% to last year, with growth across brands and channels
- Operating proﬁt of $125 million, up to last year; Second highest since 2012
- Aerie posted all-time high third quarter revenue and operating margin; Comparable sales up 12% to last year
- American Eagle revenue and comparable sales up 2% to last year, reﬂecting continued sequential improvement in trends
- Continued progress on proﬁt improvement initiatives
November 21, 2023
PITTSBURGH — (BUSINESS WIRE) – American Eagle Outﬁtters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) today announced ﬁnancial results for the third quarter ended October 28, 2023.
“I am pleased with our third quarter results which demonstrated the strength of our brands and reﬂected continued progress on our growth and proﬁt improvement initiatives. Our strategic priorities, underpinned by our customer-ﬁrst focus and commitment to operational excellence, are propelling us forward,” commented Jay Schottenstein, AEO’s Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer.
“Momentum has continued across the business into the fourth quarter, driven by strong holiday assortments, engaging marketing campaigns and solid execution, supporting our improved outlook for the rest of the year. Looking ahead, we remain focused on advancing our long-term strategic priorities, as we seek to create consistent growth across our portfolio of brands and generate efﬁciencies for improved proﬁt ﬂow-through. We are set up to deliver on both in 2024.”
Third Quarter 2023 Results compared to Third Quarter 2022 Results:
- Total net revenue of $1.3 billion was up 5%. Store revenue was up 3%. Digital revenue was up 10%.
- Aerie revenue of $393 million rose 12% with comparable sales up 12%. American Eagle revenue of $857 million rose 2% and comparable sales increased 2%.
- Gross proﬁt of $544 million increased approximately 13% and reﬂected a gross margin rate of 41.8%, up 310 basis points. Margin expansion was driven by strong demand, lower product and freight costs and continued beneﬁts from our proﬁt improvement work including lower markdowns and leverage on rent, distribution and warehousing and delivery.
- Selling, general and administrative expense of $362 million was up 16%, consistent with guidance. Aligned with strong business performance, roughly half of the expense increase was due to incentive compensation against zero accruals last year. Store payroll also increased largely due to higher wages.
- Operating income of $125 million reﬂected a 9.6% margin.
- Diluted earnings per share of $0.49 increased 17%. Average diluted shares outstanding were 198 million.
Total ending inventory declined 4% to $769 million, with units down 3%. The company continues to maintain inventory discipline.
Capital expenditures totaled $43 million in the third quarter and $135 million year-to-date. For Fiscal 2023, management continues to expect capital expenditures to approximate $150 to $175 million.
Proﬁt Improvement Focus
Earlier this year, the company launched a comprehensive review of its cost structure. Early actions have been focused on the components of gross margin and contributed to margin expansion in the second and third quarters. Other signiﬁcant work streams have been identiﬁed, actioned and incorporated into the company’s 2024 plans. The results of these initiatives are expected to yield gross margin expansion, as well as SG&A and depreciation leverage, resulting in an improved operating proﬁt rate.
For Fiscal 2023, management expects revenue to be up mid-single digits to last year, compared to prior guidance for revenue up low single digits. Operating income is expected to be in the range of $340 to $350 million, at the high end of prior guidance of $325 to $350 million. This reﬂects strengthened demand and continued proﬁt improvement. With better business trends driving higher incentives, SG&A is expected to be up in the low double digits for the year.
For the fourth quarter, management’s outlook reﬂects revenue up high-single digits and operating income in the range of $105 to $115 million. The revenue outlook includes a four point positive contribution from the 53rd week. SG&A is expected to be up approximately 20% including a 5 point impact from the 53rd week. Incentive accruals are also expected to be higher, which are skewed to the back half of the year. Depreciation is expected to be similar to the third quarter.
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 approximately 80 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle and Aerie merchandise also is available at more than 300 international locations operated by licensees in approximately 30 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 2023 and annual ﬁscal 2024 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 28, 2023 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 2023 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.