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CEO at AEO to go

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH – Shortly after reporting a 16% increase in continuing operations for its fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, American Eagle Outfitters, announced that its CEO, James O’Donnell, has informed the board of directors of his intention to retire, and the company has initiated a succession process to be jointly led by O’Donnell and the board. American Eagle said O’Donnell will continue with the company as CEO until a successor is named and through an orderly transition period.

O’Donnell, 70, who joined the company as COO in 2000, became Co-CEO in 2002 and then CEO in 2003, is ending his time at American Eagle Outfitters on a good note. The company’s fourth-quarter earnings per diluted share were 44 cents compared with 38 cents for the same period last year. However, a total fourth-quarter sales decrease of 4% to $916 million and a comparable-stores sales decrease of 7% dampers the mood.

Still, American Eagle appears pleased with O’Donnell’s performance over the years.

Jay Schottenstein, chairman of the board, said, “We are extremely grateful for Jim’s many contributions to our company, including achieving a high level of operating and financial performance from which we can continue to build, assembling a world-class management team, and successfully expanding our retail footprint including entry into international markets to leverage the global reach of the American Eagle brand. Jim has led the growth and development of our company for much of the last ten years and will leave behind an organization that is well positioned for the future.”

And O’Donnell did express confidence about the company’s future.

“As we look to 2011, we are moving forward with growth initiatives across our brands. Although we face external headwinds, including rising product costs, we expect to make further progress in positioning American Eagle Outfitters for long-term profitable growth.”

For the fiscal first quarter of 2011, American Eagle said it expects earnings to be in the range of 13 cents to 17 cents per diluted share, based on comparable-store sales of negative 3% to flat. This compares to earnings from continuing operations of 17 cents per diluted share last year.

For fiscal 2011, management expects results to be similar to last year’s adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.02 per diluted share. The company is targeting comparable-store sales growth in the low single-digits.

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Dick’s Q4 income jumps 30%; 34 stores on tap for 2011

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh — Dick’s Sporting Goods said Tuesday its net income increased 30% in the fourth quarter on improving revenue.

The sporting goods retailer reported net income of $87.5 million in the quarter ended Jan. 29, from $67.4 million last year.

Revenue rose 14% to $1.52 billion from $1.34 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $1.45 billion, on average. Same-store sales rose 9.4%. Sporting goods stores were hit hard during the recession as people cut back on bigger ticket items, but sales have improved. The quarter marks Dick’s sixth consecutive quarter of higher revenue in stores open at least one year.

For the year, net income rose 35% to $182.1 million. Revenue rose 10% to $4.87 billion.

Dick’s plans to open approximately 34 namesake stores and remodel 13 existing units in its current fiscal year. It also plans to open roughly three Golf Galaxy stores.

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Skechers sues Sears

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Skechers USA has sued Sears Holdings Corp, alleging that the chain was selling footwear that infringed on some of Skechers brands, including its toning Shape-ups line, Reuters reported.

"While we value our relationship with Sears, their actions are causing us tremendous damage, and we simply cannot let any company, let alone a company the size of Sears, infringe on our most valuable intellectual property," Philip Paccione, general counsel of Skechers, said.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, seeks damages, as well as relief for the alleged infringements and unfair competition.

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