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Aeropostale posts Q2 loss; projects wider loss for current quarter

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Aeropostale Inc. on Thursday reported a second-quarter loss that was less than the Wall Street expected. It also forecast a bigger-than-expected loss for the current quarter.

Aeropostale, which has lost money for seven consecutive quarters, reported a net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 of $63.8 million, compared to a loss of $33.7 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales decreased 13% to $396.2 million, from $454.0 million in the year ago period. Same-store sales, including the e-commerce channel, decreased 13%.

The retailer recently announced Julian Geiger will return as its CEO. Geiger was chairman and CEO of Aeropostale from 1998 to 2010, when he stepped down and was replaced by Thomas Johnson.

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Hibbett Sports profit drops 21% amid higher costs

BY Marianne Wilson

Birmingham, Ala. — Hibbett Sports profit in the second quarter declined 21% amid higher store operating, selling and administrative expenses. Net income for the 13-week period ended August 2, 2014, was $8.4 million compared with $10.5 million for the 13-week period ended August 3, 2013

Net sales for the quarter increased 4.1% to $193.9 million compared with $186.2 million for the 13-week period ended August 3, 2013. Same-store sales edged up 0.1%.

“Comparable store sales were softer than expected for the quarter, but we are encouraged by the improvement in traffic in early August,” said Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO. “In addition, we are on pace to achieve our goal of 75 to 80 new stores this year, and continue to be pleased with new store performance. Our new wholesale and logistics facility continues to show significant productivity gains, and we look forward to the benefits this facility will provide.”

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Foot Locker Q2 profit, sales top estimates

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Foot Locker on Friday turned in another winning performance, posting sales and income for the second quarter that topped analysts’ estimates.

Net income for the quarter increased to $92 million, from $66 million in the year-ago period.

Total sales increased 12.9%, to $1.64 billion, compared with $1.45 billion for the corresponding prior-year period. Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales for the second quarter increased 11.7%.

Same-store sales rose 7%. Analysts had predicted a gain of 5.4%.

“The team at Foot Locker once again achieved record levels of sales and profits in the second quarter, and I am extremely proud of their efforts," said Ken C. Hicks, chairman and CEO. "We delivered excellent financial and operational results through the outstanding execution of our strategic priorities. This continues to be a winning formula for us, and we remain committed to taking full advantage of the many opportunities we have identified — over the near, intermediate, and longer terms — to continue producing a consistent, strong performance."

During the second quarter, Foot Locker repurchased approximately 1.33 million shares of its common stock for $66 million.

"So far this year, we have returned $200 million of cash to our shareholders through our dividend and share repurchase programs," said Lauren B. Peters, executive VP and CFO. "Our strong financial position has enabled us to consistently increase those programs in recent years while we have also made substantial investments in the business, including the $220 million of capital expenditures we are targeting for fiscal 2014."

As of Aug. 2, the company operated 3,460 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, 47 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East and South Korea, as well as 27 franchised Runners Point and Sidestep stores in Germany and Switzerland.

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