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UPDATE 1-Discounts to hit American Eagle profit in holiday quarter

Friday, 6 Dec 2013 | 8:49 AM ET

* Sees current-quarter profit $0.26 to $0.30 vs est $0.39

* Sees mid single-digit pct fall in comparable-store sales

* Third quarter profit slumps 68 pct

* Shares fall 6 pct premarket

(Adds details, background, share movement)

Dec 6 (Reuters) - Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc joined other U.S. retailers in forecasting a weaker-than-expected profit in the current quarter due to intense discounting in the holidays.

The company's shares fell 6 percent to $15.45 in premarket trading.

"Our financial performance is clearly unsatisfactory and not consistent with our objectives," Chief Executive Robert Hanson said in a statement on Friday.

The teen apparel sector has been hit as young shoppers shift to "fast fashion" chains such as Inditex's Zara and Forever 21, which offer more fashionable clothing at cheaper prices.

Earlier this week Aeropostale Inc forecast a much bigger-than-expected loss for the holiday shopping quarter. Last month Abercrombie & Fitch warned of tough holiday sales as it struggles with the changing tastes of its shoppers.

American Eagle on Friday said it expects a fourth-quarter profit of 26 cents to 30 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 39 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

American Eagle also forecast mid single-digit percentage decline in comparable-store sales.

The company's net profit fell 68 percent to $24.9 million, or 13 cents a share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 2 from $78.6 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 19 cents per share, in line with analysts estimates.

Net margins slumped to 2.9 percent from 8.6 percent.

On Nov. 6 the retailer had forecast third quarter profit that was higher than analysts' estimates due to better-than-expected margins.

(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava and Maria Ajit Thomas; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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