American Eagle’s third-quarter profit drops nearly 16%


American Eagle Outfitters on Wednesday forecast strong earnings for the key holiday selling season and delivered third-quarter comparable sales ahead of Wall Street targets, driven by robust demand for its Aerie line of lingerie.

The news sent shares of the apparel maker up nearly 4 percent to $16.71 in premarket trading.

American Eagle expects earnings of between 42 and 44 cents per share for the holiday quarter ending January. Analysts on average were expecting 39 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

American Eagle said comparable sales from the Aerie brand jumped 19 percent in the quarter ended Oct. 28, while those from its namesake brand inched up 1 percent.

Overall sales at stores open for more than a year rose 3 percent, topping analysts’ average estimate of a 2 percent increase.

Net income fell 16 percent to $63.73 million or 36 cents per share as the company offered more promotions and took a $14 million charge.

American Eagle’s revenue rose 2 percent to $960.4 million but was just shy of the average analyst estimate of $960.8 million.

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