Brooke Shields swimsuit Instagram photo with daughters sends American Eagle stock flying

Actress Brooke Shields has cast some sun on investors in apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters. 

Shares of American Eagle Outfitters popped nearly 5% on Tuesday following a photo posted by Shields, 56, to her 1.2 million fans on her Instagram account. In the pic, Shields and her two daughters Rowan, 18, and Grier, 15, are "twinning" in new swimwear from American Eagle's intimates brand Aerie. The swimwear ensemble for the Shields fam comes from Aerie's Real Good Swim collection, People reported. 

American Eagle's stock (AEO) rose by as much as 3% in pre-market trading on Wednesday as the images of Shields and her daughters swept social media, likely fueling optimism over Aerie's second quarter sales. At the stock's current trading level, American Eagle has added about $485 million to its market cap since the post by social influencer Shields. 

To be sure, it's not like Aerie needs the endorsement from the Shields clan to reinvigorate its sales. 

Aerie has been one of the hottest apparel concepts in recent years, stealing major market share from former intimates queen Victoria's Secret. Aerie has won high marks by consumers for its inclusive marketing (aka no body shaming at the chain) and strong fit on its clothes, analysts have said.> View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields)

The strength in the business continued in the first quarter. 

Sales at Aerie exploded 89% year-over-year to $297 million. That marked a sharp acceleration from the 25% sales increase notched in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Same-store sales have gained more than 20% at Aerie for five straight years according to Bloomberg data. It's a stretch of sales simply unheard of among mall-based apparel retailers.

"We see the American Eagle Outfitters story at a positive multi-year inflection point with Aerie’s double-digit top/bottom-line profile (including high-teens+ annual footage growth & double-digit comps) reaching scale at $1 billion revenues and AE brand store closures representing a positive sum-of-the-parts catalyst (w/ ~50% of leases expiring by 2021-end including 75% of C mall locations) and profitability/SG&A multi-year efficiency opportunity (similar to peer L Brands)," said J.P. Morgan retail analyst Matthew Boss in a research note. 

Boss rates American Eagle an Overweight (Buy equivalent) with a $48 price target. 

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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