American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $15.00 price target on the apparel retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 12.02% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “American Eagle has outperformed the industry in the past three months driven by positive sentiment for second-quarter fiscal 2017, since reporting a dismal first-quarter. The company lived up to expectations with both the top and bottom line beating estimates in the second quarter.  The company also posted 10th straight quarter of positive comps on the back of strong online sales at both brands driven by efficient use of omni-channel capabilities to enhance customer experience. Also, its new loyalty program, AEO Connect is likely to enhance customers' experience. We also commend American Eagle's focus on expansion, as evident from its plans to enter the Indian market. Moreover, the company remains optimistic about the second half of fiscal 2017, especially the fall season. However, margins have been strained owing to increased promotions and the company expects these trends to continue and hurt results.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on AEO. BMO Capital Markets set a $15.00 price objective on shares of American Eagle Outfitters and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $15.00 price objective on shares of American Eagle Outfitters in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Cowen and Company set a $14.00 price objective on shares of American Eagle Outfitters and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $13.00 price objective on shares of American Eagle Outfitters and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Buckingham Research reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of American Eagle Outfitters in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. American Eagle Outfitters presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $14.61.

Shares of American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) traded up 1.19% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $13.55. 1,509,261 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $2.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.91 and a beta of 1.10. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $13.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $12.53. American Eagle Outfitters has a 12-month low of $10.23 and a 12-month high of $19.00.

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 23rd. The apparel retailer reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $845.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $823.84 million. American Eagle Outfitters had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 18.25%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.23 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that American Eagle Outfitters will post $1.13 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Jennifer M. Foyle sold 13,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.22, for a total value of $191,970.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 27,531 shares in the company, valued at $391,490.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 5.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its holdings in American Eagle Outfitters by 9.3% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 8,533 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 729 shares during the period. Ronald Blue & Co. LLC raised its holdings in American Eagle Outfitters by 3.1% in the second quarter. Ronald Blue & Co. LLC now owns 10,476 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 311 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in American Eagle Outfitters in the second quarter valued at approximately $128,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. raised its holdings in American Eagle Outfitters by 0.6% in the second quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 11,035 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 63 shares during the period. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in American Eagle Outfitters by 91.1% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 11,082 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 5,282 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.87% of the company’s stock.

About American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc (AEO Inc) is a multi-brand specialty retailer. The Company offers a range of apparel and accessories for men and women under the American Eagle Outfitters Brand (AEO Brand), and intimates, apparel and personal care products for women under the Aerie brand. AEO Inc operates stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom.

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