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The Top 10 Hot Growth Companies

5

Aéropostale

For an apparel retailer that faces the daunting challenge of selling to fickle teens, Aéropostale is nothing but consistent. How else do you explain its Hot Growth ranking -- No. 5 for the second year in a row? The New York-based mall retailer, with 601 stores, has achieved this by following a careful formula: Let rivals like Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) set major apparel trends, but follow them quickly. And at much lower prices. Aéropostale backs this up with sophisticated consumer research to pinpoint trends that will sell well.

Over the last three years, its annual sales have climbed an average of 45.4%, driven by rapid store expansion and strong sales at stores open at least a year. Average annual profits jumped 95%. In a bid to stave off the inevitable saturation of its stores, the company this summer will launch a second chain called Jimmy'Z, which will target a slightly older shopper with California- inspired casual clothing. But being as consistent will be harder with two chains to manage.

Company Info

STOCK INFO ARO
Market Value* $ 1.5 BILLION
Total Return* (1-yr.) 27.0%
(3-yr.) NA
2004 sales $ 964.2 MILLION
Sales Growth(1-yr.) 31.2%
(3-yr.) 45.4%
Net income* $ 84.1 MILLION
Net Income Growth (1-yr.) 55.0%
(3-yr.) 95.0%
Net Margin* 8.6%
Return on Equity* 34.4%
Return on Invested Capital* 35.3%
Industry RETAILING
CORPORATE WEB SITE
*Trailing 12 months
Company data as of 4/29/05
provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat

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Company Snapshot

Aeropostale Inc., together with its wholly owned subsidiary, Aeropostale West Inc., operates as a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories for young women and men in the U.S. It offers T-shirts, knits, tops, bottoms, sweaters, jeans, pants, outwears, swimsuit, footwear, polos, hoodies, wovens, shorts, and accessories. As of May 1, 2004, it operated 489 stores in 42 states. Aeropostale is headquartered in New York City.

No. of Employees

8,484


Data provided by Capital IQ
Julian R. Geiger

Julian R. Geiger, 59

Titles

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

CEO Bio >

Total Compensation*

$3.4 MILLION

Total Value of Options**

$ 22.6 MILLION

Degrees Held

NA

* Latest available fiscal year
** The sum of the net value of options exercised and held in the latest available fiscal year

Key Executives

Julian R. Geiger, Christopher L. Finazzo, Thomas P. Johnson, Michael J. Cunningham, Thomas J. Clendenin, Ann E. Joyce, Olivera Lazic-Zangas

Board Members

Julian R. Geiger, Bodil Arlander, Ronald R. Beegle, Mary Elizabeth Burton, Robert B. Chavez, David H. Edwab, John D. Howard, David B. Vermylen


Data provided by Capital IQ
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