American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $24.00 target price on the apparel retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 16.73% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “American Eagle outperformed the industry in a year driven by robust comps trend and surprise history. The company posted impressive comps growth for fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 to date, backed by robust holiday season. It also reiterated its fourth-quarter earnings view. Notably, comps improved for the 15th straight quarter in third-quarter fiscal 2018 backed by gains from strategic initiatives, and ability to boost market share through strong brands and compelling merchandise. The company has delivered sales beat in three of the last four quarters with third straight positive earnings surprise. Further, its omni-channel efforts along with accelerated Aerie brand growth bode well. However, a shift of the 2018 retail calendar hurt sales in the fiscal third quarter, which along with SG&A deleverage weighed on operating margin. Further, additional 53rd week in fiscal 2017 is likely to hurt sales and earnings comparisons in fiscal 2018.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on AEO. Loop Capital set a $27.00 price target on shares of American Eagle Outfitters and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Deutsche Bank set a $23.00 target price on shares of American Eagle Outfitters and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 12th. Telsey Advisory Group restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $24.00 price target (down from $32.00) on shares of American Eagle Outfitters in a report on Wednesday, December 12th. ValuEngine cut shares of American Eagle Outfitters from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Wolfe Research reaffirmed a “peer perform” rating and issued a $22.00 price objective (down from $27.00) on shares of American Eagle Outfitters in a research report on Wednesday, December 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. American Eagle Outfitters has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $24.86.

AEO opened at $20.56 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.72, a PEG ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.82. American Eagle Outfitters has a 1-year low of $17.00 and a 1-year high of $29.88.

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, December 11th. The apparel retailer reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48. The firm had revenue of $1 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.02 billion. American Eagle Outfitters had a net margin of 6.96% and a return on equity of 21.28%. American Eagle Outfitters’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.37 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that American Eagle Outfitters will post 1.47 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Andrew J. Mclean sold 14,984 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.26, for a total value of $273,607.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 14,984 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,607.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 6.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AEO. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in American Eagle Outfitters by 452.9% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 7,562,282 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $187,772,000 after acquiring an additional 6,194,652 shares in the last quarter. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Eagle Outfitters during the third quarter valued at $87,588,000. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its stake in shares of American Eagle Outfitters by 9.8% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 17,117,791 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $425,035,000 after acquiring an additional 1,521,279 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in American Eagle Outfitters by 9.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,117,791 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $425,035,000 after buying an additional 1,521,279 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in American Eagle Outfitters by 1,864.7% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,299,537 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $67,000 after buying an additional 1,233,392 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.23% of the company’s stock.

About American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc operates as a specialty retailer that provides clothing, accessories, and personal care products under the American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie brands. The company also provides jeans, and other apparel and accessories for men and women; and intimates, activewear, and swim collections, as well as personal care products for women.

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