NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Aeropostale Inc. tumbled before Friday's opening bell, a day after the teen apparel retailer reported a loss for the fourth quarter and said it expects to post another one for the current quarter.
Aeropostale has been struggling for some time with tough competition and its fickle young shoppers. In releasing its results late Thursday, the company said that results for the year had been disappointing. And it warned that the February-April quarter remained a challenge due to its stock of leftover clothing that hadn't sold during the holiday shopping season and a tough economy.
Excluding one-time items, Aeropostale posted earnings for the quarter, but it still fell short of Wall Street predictions.
For the current quarter, which runs through April, Aeropostale predicted a loss of 15 to 20 cents per share. Analysts expected earnings of 8 cents per share.
Wedbush analyst Betty Chen backed her "Outperform" rating for Aeropostale, saying that investors should take advantage of any drop in its stock price and pick up shares. She predicted that the company will get a boost from new products in late July ahead of the back-to-school shopping season.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe was more hesitant, saying that the company will continue to struggle through the first quarter and that it's unclear exactly how much it can improve in the near term.
"We believe at the current share price, the reward is limited and risk, as always, remains significant," Jaffe wrote in a note to investors, pointing to the uncertainty surrounding fashion trends, consumer preferences and the execution of the company's turn-around plan.
In premarket trading, Aeropostale shares fell 91 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $13.60. That is 17 percent above its 52-week low of $11.76 in regular market trading in late October. Its shares peaked for the past 52-week at $23.05 last April.