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American Eagle Q4 revenues, same-store sales decline

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh – Total net revenue for American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. decreased 2% to $882 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to $904 million for the same quarter a year earlier. Consolidated same-store sales decreased 7%, compared to a 5% increase for the comparable period in 2012.

The company expects fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) to be approximately $0.26 per diluted share, on the bottom end of the previous EPS guidance of $0.26 to $0.30 per diluted share. The guidance excludes potential asset impairment and restructuring charges.

“Following a solid Thanksgiving weekend, traffic and sales through Christmas week were on the low end of our expectations and the retail environment was highly promotional, pressuring margins and EPS,” said Robert Hanson, CEO. “Our post-Christmas clearance event is meeting our expectations and we expect to end the year with inventories on plan. We are intensely focused on making fundamental improvements to our business as we adapt to a fast-changing retail landscape.”

The company will release fourth quarter and annual 2013 fiscal results prior to the market’s open on March 11, 2014.

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Barnes & Noble holiday revenues drop 6.6%

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Barnes & Noble reported decreases in revenue for both its retail and Nook segments during the nine-week 2013 holiday season as compared to the same period in the prior year. The retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, had revenues of $1.1 billion, decreasing 6.6% from the prior year.

Barnes & Noble said the decrease was attributable to a 5.5% decline in same-store sales and store closures. Core same-store bookstore sales, which exclude sales of Nook products, decreased 0.2% as compared to the prior year.

The Nook segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had revenues of $125 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 60.5% as compared to a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $88.7 million for the holiday period, a decrease of 66.7% from a year ago, which Barnes & Noble attributed to lower unit selling volume and lower average selling prices. Digital content sales were $36.5 million for the holiday period, a decline of 27.3% compared to a year ago due to lower device unit sales and lower average selling prices.

Despite declining revenues, Michael P. Huseby, CEO of Barnes & Noble, struck an optimistic tone in his public comments.

"We are pleased with our holiday sales results, especially our core comparable bookstore sales, which were essentially flat and an improvement as compared to the first half of the year," said Huseby. “During the holiday period we benefitted from a strong line-up of bestselling titles, great execution by our booksellers and merchants, an effective advertising campaign and strong increases in our Juvenile, Gift and Toys & Games categories. Sales in the Nook segment declined year-over-year largely because during the previous holiday season the company introduced two new tablet products, while no new tablets were introduced this year.”

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report third quarter results on or about February 27, 2014.

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Destination Maternity net sales slip in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Philadelphia — Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 at Destination Maternity Corporation decreased 0.3% to $134.8 million from $135.3 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Same-store sales slightly increased 0.7%.

Destination Maternity said the slight decrease in total reported sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2013 resulted primarily from decreased sales related to the company’s continued efforts to close underperforming stores, substantially offset by the increase in comparable sales. The company expects earnings per share to come in at the low end of previously issued guidance.

“In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, our sales were slightly weaker than planned, reflecting the continued challenging overall economic environment which affected many retailers in the recent holiday shopping season, said Ed Krell, CEO. “In spite of the sluggish sales environment, we were able to achieve our sixth consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases.

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