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American Eagle 4Q plunges; stock falls on outlook

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- American Eagle Outfitters' fourth-quarter net income tumbled 89 percent as winter storms weighed on sales and the teen retailer booked significant one-time charges, like severance costs.

While earnings topped Wall Street expectations when adjusted for those charges, shares slumped almost 5 percent before the opening bell Tuesday on the company's outlook for the first quarter.

American Eagle has reported consecutive quarters of declining profit and falling comparable-store sales during the crucial holiday shopping period. The company is trying to turn itself around and in January, announced that CEO Robert Hanson was leaving. Executive Chairman Jay Schottenstein was named as interim CEO.

For the period ended Feb.1, American Eagle earned $10.5 million, or 5 cents per share. That compares with $94.8 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Removing charges related to the discontinuation of the AE Performance product line, employee severance costs and other items, earnings were 27 cents per share. That's a penny better than analysts had expected, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue for the Pittsburgh company fell 7 percent to $1.04 billion from $1.12 billion, as expected.

Sales at stores open at least a year dropped 7 percent. This metric is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes volatility from stores recently opened or closed.

Full-year net income declined to $83 million, or 43 cents per share, from $232.1 million, or $1.16 per share, in the prior year.

Adjusted earnings were 74 cents per share.

Annual revenue dropped 5 percent to $3.31 billion from $3.48 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 6 percent.

In the first quarter American Eagle, anticipates that per-share earnings will be about breakeven. However, Wall Street was expecting earnings-per-share of 13 cents/

A year ago the company reported adjusted earnings of 18 cents per share.

Shares of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. declined 5 percent, or 77 cents, to $13.44 in premarket trading.