Analyst Joseph Teklits says results are nicely above his original 65 cents estimate at the end of the third quarter, and are 2 cents better than the latest forecast. Teklits notes comps were consistently strong during the quarter, and says operating margin improved 230 basis points, to 16.5% . He notes the retailer raised its first-quarter and fiscal 2005 (Jan) guidance. Therefore, he upped the 7 cents first-quarter earnings per share estimate to 9 cents, and raised the $1.65 fiscal 2005 estimate to $1.73. He also set $2.05 earnings per share estimate for fiscal 2006.
Teklits says Aeropostale also announced a 3-for-2 stock split, and the company said it was raising its share buyback by $35 million, which brings the total repurchase program up to $70 million. He has a $37 to $41 12-month valuation range, which incorporates a p-e of 18 to 20, based on his fiscal 2006 earnings per share estimate.