Aeropostale posts 1Q loss as sales drop 9 percent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Teen clothing store chain Aeropostale Inc. posted a loss in the first quarter, reversing a year-ago profit, as sales declined. The results came in ahead of Wall Street expectations, but a weak forecast sent shares down in aftermarket trading.

The New York-based company booked a loss of $12.2 million, or 16 cents per share, in the three months that ended on May 4. That compares with net income of $10.6 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 9 percent to $452.3 million from $497.2 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 17 cents per share on revenue of $443.7 million, according to a poll by FactSet.

Sales at stores that have been open for at least a year declined 14 percent. The figure is an important measure of a retailer's health, because it strips away sales from stores that opened or closed during the quarter.

"As we had anticipated, our first quarter performance reflected an increase in promotional activity as we cleared through carryover inventory from the fourth quarter," said CEO Thomas Johnson in a statement. "In addition, we were impacted by a weak (economic) environment, as well as unseasonably cool weather."

For the current quarter, Aeropostale is forecasting a loss of 15 cents to 20 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 6 cents per share.

Shares fell 73 cents, or 4.48 percent, to $15.75 in extended trading after the results were released. The stock had closed down 17 cents at $16.48.