American Eagle (AEO) to Pay a Special Dividend

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) announced that its board of directors declared a special cash dividend of $1.50 per share and a regular quarterly dividend of $0.11 per share.  This marks the company’s 33rd consecutive quarterly dividend. The total cash dividend of $1.61 is payable on October 10, 2012, to stockholders of record at the close of business on September 26, 2012.  This is a 6.8% dividend yield based on the current stock price.

American Eagle continues to receive upbeat commentary from Wall Street, with Sterne Agee today upgrading the teen-apparel retailer to buy and edging up its price target to $27 from $25 amid its growth plans and merchandising efforts.

Meanwhile, “CEO Robert Hanson’s new financial goals, if realized, suggest a strong outlook ahead.” AEO has been seen not marking down as much as rivals during back-to-school, and less so than last year, meaning the company looks to still be gaining market share while bolstering margins. The stock has gone nearly straight up the past year, more than doubling during that time.

American Eagle reported Q2 revenue of $739.68 million, up from last year’s $669.12 million and over analyst estimates of $719.29 million. The company met on earnings, at $0.21. In Q2 of last year, AEO brought in $0.10 per share.

AEO said for Q3 is expects EPS in the range of $0.37 to $0.38, compared to $0.30 last year and for FY2012 is raising its EPS guidance to a range of $1.33 to $1.36, compared to a $0.97 last year. Analysts are expecting earnings of $0.37 per share in Q3 and $1.32 for the year.

American Eagle has an equity summary score of 9.3 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish Outlook.  First Call analyst consensus has a rating of 1.9 for a BUY recommendation on American Eagle.