Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/14/2013

Operator: Thank you for joining us for the Aeropostale Conference Call to Review Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results. At this time, all parties are in a listen-only mode. Following the management presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be provided at that time for you to queue up for questions. I would like to remind everyone that this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to introduce, Ken Ohashi, the Company's Vice President of Investor and Media Relations.

Kenneth Ohashi - VP, Investor and Media Relations: Thank you all for joining us this afternoon. With me here today are Tom Johnson, our Chief Executive Officer; Emilia Fabricant; EVP of the Aeropostale Brand; and Marc Miller, our Chief Financial Officer. We issued a press release earlier this afternoon announcing our fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 financial results. A copy of the release can be found on our corporate website.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that during this earnings conference call, certain statements and responses to questions may contain forward-looking information, such as forecast of future performance. Forward-looking information and statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause our actual results to differ materially from our forecasted results. Those risks are described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, all of which have been filed with the SEC and are available on our website. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Listeners of this call are referred to those filings.

Before I turn the call over to Tom, I would like to ask everyone to limit themselves to one question during our Q&A session to allow everyone a chance to speak. Once we've gone through a round of questions, we'll go back and you may queue up again at that time.

I would now like to turn the call over to Tom.

Thomas P. Johnson - CEO: Thank you, Ken. Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us today. Last year, we spoke to you about four strategic initiatives that will lay the foundation for improvement of our overall business and brand positioning, offering team’s relevant fashion for the dynamic and fast changing lifestyle, communicating our brand message through fashion differentiated marketing campaigns that evoke an emotional connection with the team, building a best-in-class infrastructure to increase speed to market and developing our future growth drivers to build a global multi-brand business platform.

While we have not reached the level of performance we strive for, I believe we made progress in each of these key areas in 2012. Just as important, I believe that we have the right strategies in place to improve the trajectory of our business going forward.

Emilia, Marc and I look forward to sharing these strategies with you today.

First, let me take you through our most recent results. As many of you saw today, we reported adjusted fourth quarter results, which were in line with our previously issued guidance. During the quarter, we experienced a strong start to the holiday season, but trends decelerated as the quarter progressed.

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