3 Stocks Traders Play Following Earnings Releases

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE:AEO) in the fourth quarter as profit dropped from a year earlier. Net income for American Eagle Outfitters Inc. fell to $51.3 million (26 cents per share) vs. $87 million (44 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 41.1% from the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 13.8% to $1.04 billion from the year-earlier quarter. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. reported adjusted net income of 35 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 34 cents per share.

Maidenform Brands Inc. (NYSE:MFB) reported a drop to a loss in the fourth quarter driven by higher costs. Reported a loss of $3.1 million (13 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. Maidenform Brands Inc. had a net income of $6.7 million or 29 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 5% to $124.5 million from the year-earlier quarter. Maidenform Brands Inc. reported adjusted net income of 0 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of one cent per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $116.2 million.

“We achieved solid top line results in total for the third year in a row, with strength across our major strategic priorities, including shapewear, international, mass merchants, Donna Karan International and direct to consumer” stated Maurice S. Reznik, Chief Executive Officer. “Near term gross margin pressures yielded depressed results for 2011 overall. We have taken actions to address these issues, including cost reductions and improvements to our supply chain that we expect will yield meaningful acceleration in margins and profits, particularly in the back half of 2012 and beyond.”

Competitors to Watch: Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI), Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE:RL), Wacoal Hldgs. Corp. (NASDAQ:WACLY), The Warnaco Group, Inc. (NYSE:WRC), and Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. (NYSE:PVH).

Hot Topic Inc. (NASDAQ:HOTT) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Reported a profit of $9 million (21 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. Hot Topic Inc. had a net loss of $578,000 or a loss one cent per share in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue fell 1.2% to $209.9 million from the year-earlier quarter. Hot Topic Inc. beat the mean analyst estimate of 20 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $209.3 million.

Lisa Harper, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “By increasing our quarterly dividend, our Board of Directors has demonstrated its confidence in our strategic direction and our ability to execute to our plan. The strength of our balance sheet and the substantial free cash flow generated by our business provide us with the financial flexibility to return capital to our shareholders in this manner.”

Competitors to Watch: Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), dELiA*s, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLIA), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO), The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE), Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN), and The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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