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Why American Eagle Outfitters' Stock Is Rising Today

By John Rosevear – Jan 11, 2022 at 10:52AM

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The company gave investors a preview of its Q4 earnings, and it was good.

What happened

Shares of American Eagle Outfitters (AEO 0.15%) were moving higher on Tuesday morning after the company said that it will hit its fiscal 2023 financial targets two years ahead of schedule.

As of 10:30 a.m. ET, American Eagle's shares were up about 2.2% from Monday's closing price.

So what

In a press release issued before the U.S. markets opened on Tuesday, American Eagle Outfitters said that after "strong holiday sales," it expects to report at least $600 million in operating income for fiscal 2021, with an operating margin of at least 10%. 

The company had previously said that it hoped to generate $550 million in operating income, with a 10% margin, in 2023.

An AE77 store in Pennsylvania.

AEO's new "AE77" brand offers upscale denim with an emphasis on sustainability. Image source: American Eagle Outfitters.

"Operational excellence drove solid results amid external disruptions," CEO Jay Schottenstein said in a statement. "We closed out a milestone year for our supply chain, anchored by two key acquisitions, which secured cost efficiencies, locked in key strategic advantages and created a new platform for future growth."

Schottenstein also said that while the company's newer Aerie brand contributed considerable growth, its once-struggling American Eagle brand is now steadily profitable. 

Having hit its 2023 goals two years early, American Eagle has set new ones. The company is now aiming to generate $800 million in operating income in fiscal 2023, with an operating profit margin of 13.5%.

All of that is welcome news, and it's why the stock is up today. 

Now what

American Eagle Outfitters also gave retail investors some more detail on what to expect when it reports its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, likely in early March. 

For the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2021, which will end on Jan. 31, American Eagle now expects revenue to be up from a year ago by a percentage in the "mid-to-high-teens," and up from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 by a percentage in the "mid-teens." 

Operating income for the quarter will be between $90 million and $100 million, notwithstanding an $80 million increase in transportation costs due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, the company said.

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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