ARO: Reading the REAL Release

Amidst the sea of sales and earnings releases, how can we not take note of one of the most bizarre sales releases (blunders) in a long time?  This morning at 8AM, Aeropostale (ARO ) mistakenly issued last year’s January sales release.  Based on this, it appeared that ARO once again blew out expectations, with another double-digit comp increase. About an hour later, a revised press release arrived and the REAL results indicated a less impressive 6% same store sales gain, in-line with expectations.  Both releases also noted earnings revisions to the upside, which only added to the confusion. Tack on an oddly timed 3 for 2 stock split along with the official word that the co-CEO’s take the helm next week, and ARO remsins one of our top short ideas.  For an outline of the broader thesis, take a look at our 1/29 note Revisiting a Crowded Debate.

-Eric Levine