(By Balachander) Retailer American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) reported a rise in earnings for the first quarter on growth in sales.
On a non-GAAP basis, earnings per share (EPS) jumped 38 percent to 22 cents from 16 cents. Net sales grew 18 percent to $709 million.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expected EPS of 20 cents on sales of $719 million.
Gross margin rate was flat at 38.8 percent.
Comparable store sales, including AE Direct, rose 17 percent. Online sales increased 22 percent.
Looking ahead for the second quarter, AEO forecasts adjusted EPS of $0.13 to $0.15, assuming mid single digit comparable store sale growth. Analysts expect EPS of 12 cents on sales of $720 million.
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For the full year, the company sees adjusted EPS of $1.16 to $1.22 on low to mid-single digit comparable store sales growth, while analysts expect $1.18. Earlier this month, the company guided EPS in the range of $1.06 to $1.12.
Last week, the company announced plans to exit its children's business, 77kids, which includes 22 stores and the online business. At that time, AEO said its chief financial officer Joan Hilson is stepping down.
The company's first quarter results were adjusted to exclude the operations of 77kids.
AEO shares closed Tuesday's regular trading at $19.79. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range of $10.00 to $21.13.