American Eagle earnings up, CEO to retire

New York -- American Eagle Outfitters Inc. officially announced the retirement of its chief executive officer. The chain, which has seen its seen sales falter of late, also posted a 47% rise in profits for the fourth quarter on cost-cutting.

American Eagle said its CEO James O'Donnell, 70, will stay with the retailer until a successor is chosen and will work through the transition period. O'Donnell started with American Eagle as its COO in 2000. He became co-CEO in 2002 and CEO in 2003. 

 American Eagle's earnings climbed to $87 million for the fourth quarter, up from $59.3 million a year ago. Last year's quarter included a $20.3 million loss from stores it has since closed.

Sales in the fourth quarter fell 4% to $916 million. Analysts on average had expected $919.2 million.Same-store sales fell 7%. 

 Adjusted earnings from continuing operations in the quarter were $87 million, up from $59.3 million a year earlier.

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