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American Eagle Outfitters shares rise on outlook

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Shares of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. jumped Wednesday, after the teen retailer reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results and released a strong outlook for the current quarter and full year.

For the three months ended Oct. 27, the Pittsburgh-based company earned $78.6 million, or 39 cents per share, a 50 percent gain from $52.4 million, or 27 cents per share, in the 2011 third quarter.

Excluding costs related to the sale of its 77kids business, the company posted a profit from continuing operations of 41 cents per share.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $910.4 million, from $819.4 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit from continuing operations of 39 cents per share on $873.9 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said its revenue at stores open at least a year, which includes online sales, increased 10 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue from stores that recently opened or closed.

Online revenue, which includes sales through the company's ae.com and aerie.com, rose 27 percent.

American Eagle CEO Robert Hanson said the momentum carried over into the fourth quarter, resulting in "record results" over the Thanksgiving weekend. The company projected a fourth-quarter profit of 54 cents to 56 cents per share and full-year earnings from continuing operations of $1.38 to $1.40 per share.

Analysts, on average, expect per-share profits of 55 cents for the fourth quarter, and $1.37 for the year.

American Eagle shares rose $1.60, or 8.3 percent, to $20.99 in morning trading after peaking at $21.09 earlier in the session. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $12.50 and $23.94, and they ended Tuesday up nearly 27 percent since the start of the year.