Why Did American Eagle's Share Price Not Move Upwards Despite An Impressive Holiday Performance?

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American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO ) was one of the few apparel retail companies that has posted an impressive holiday sales performance . Despite this, the share price of the company fell 3.2% in the aftermath of the company declaring an 8% increase in the comparable sales for the two months of its fourth quarter of FY 2017. This can be attributed to the fact that the company did not revise its Q4 earnings guidance upwards from its earlier given range of $0.42 to $0.44 per diluted share, which implies a 7.7%-12.8% improvement over the corresponding period of FY 2016.

We have a $16.15 price estimate for American Eagle , which is slightly below the current market price.

Areas Of Strength For American Eagle

1. Jeans

A significant amount of market share in the jeans market is up for grabs as a result of bankruptcies and store closures in the apparel retail space in the US. According to Statista, AEO’s market share was approximately 3.7% in the 2010-2015 time period. However, as per the latest update provided by the company, its share has risen to 7% by brand and by retailer. Moreover, in the 15 to 25 age group among specialty jeans, American Eagle jeans occupy the top spot with a 31% market share. There is scope for further improvement in this metric as more and more retailers fall prey to bankruptcies.

2. Aerie

American Eagle’s lingerie and activewear brand, Aerie, has gone from strength to strength, driving sales growth for the company. It posted a 14th consecutive quarter of positive comps in the recently reported third quarter earnings, at 19%, building on the 21% seen in the prior year period. This figure is all the more impressive when compared to the growth figures delivered by its competitors. While the brand is much smaller in terms of sales when contrasted with Victoria’s Secret, the latter posted a comps decline of 5% in Q3. In addition to impressive growth in core intimates, the company has seen strength in apparel, active wear, and swim wear. A lot of this growth has been a result of the efforts the company has put towards its digital channel, which has been growing at a tremendous rate, and constitutes 40% of the Aerie revenues. Meanwhile, the brand’s brick-and-mortar stores are equally valuable to the company, as they result in an increase in the digital demand. The company found that if it has a store in a location, it tends to drive digital demand at 1.5 times the store’s sales.

The chart above has been made using our new, interactive platform. You can modify the Aerie revenue assumptions to see how the valuation and price per share dynamics change.

3. Digital Business

American Eagle delivered an 11th straight quarter of double-digit gains in its online sales in the third quarter, and represented 25% of the total revenue. Given the robust performance of this business, the company has focused its marketing on the digital space, which should be highly effective in drawing in new customers. Moreover, to reel in these customers, AEO has also launched a new rewards program, which should ensure growth in the future, as well. AE jeans also represent another avenue for long term success, with the company growing to be the number two retailer in America across all demographics.

See our complete analysis for American Eagle Outfitters

Have more questions about American Eagle Outfitters? See the links below:

  • Black Friday Trends Signal Brick-And-Mortar Not Dead Yet
  • Why It Makes Sense For Retailers To Concentrate On Their Online Channels This Holiday Season
  • Is India The Place To Be For Apparel Retail Companies?
  • American Eagle: Winning In The Teen Apparel Space
  • What Are The Two Main Factors Hampering Growth Of Apparel Retailers?


1) The purpose of these analyses is to help readers focus on a few important things. We hope such communication sparks thinking and encourages readers to comment and ask questions in the comment section, or email [email protected]

2) Figures mentioned are approximate values to help our readers remember the key concepts more intuitively. For precise figures, please refer to our complete analysis for American Eagle Outfitters

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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