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Express Hits 52-Week Lows, American Eagle at One-Year High: Retail Stock Roundup

The Exchange

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for three clothing retailers on Wednesday, as two hit 52-week highs and one hit a 52-week low. If you like your good news first, here it is:

* American Eagle (AEO): Shares closed above $22 on high volume in afternoon trade,  eclipsing their 52-week high of $21.53, hit earlier this month.  This is a 4% rise on the day, following their earnings report this morning, in which they met analyst expectations but raised their outlook.  Year to date, shares are up more than 42%. Its 52-week range before Wednesday's trade was $10.00-$21.53. It was the largest percentage decliner for the day on the NYSE.

* Chico's (CHS) was up close to 7%, above $18 a share, on 5 times typical volume heading into the close; the retailer -- which operates clothing stores including its namesake, Soma Intimates and White House, Black Market -- also reported earnings Wednesday morning, beating on both EPS and revenue and revenue. Chico's also upped the low end for its full-year guidance to $2.55 billion to $2.6 billion, from earlier estimates of $2.5 billion. Year to date, Chico's is up more than 62%. Its 52-week range before Wednesday's trading day was $9.57-$17.08.

Now for the bad news:

* Express (EXPR): Express traded today at a 52-week low on around 7X normal volume after slashing its full-year outlook -- predicting same-store sales would be essentially flat --  and disappointing on revenue in its earnings report Wednesday morning. Year to date, the stock is down more than 23%.

* Note: Wet Seal (WTSLA) didn't quite hit a 52-year low during Wednesday's trade, but it did plummet almost 9% to close at $ 2.79 after the teen-focused retailer missed big on its guidance for the current quarter and announced it had hired advisors to help protect the company from a takeover attempt. As teens have shopped less, the retailer has suffered, and its shares have slipped more than 14% year-to-date. It was the second-largest percentage decliner on the Nasdaq for Wednesday. Its 52-week range is $2.42-$5.23 and it's down more than 6% year to date.

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