Why Abercrombie & Fitch Won Big Despite a Q2 Loss

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Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The retailer said that it had a net loss of $0.16 per share on $779.3 million in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for a net loss of $0.33 per share and revenue of $758.56 million. In the same period of last year, the company posted a net loss of $0.25 per share and $783.16 million in revenue.

Comparable store sales for the quarter fell by 1%, consisting of an increase of 5% in the Hollister segment and a decline of 7% in the Abercrombie segment.

In terms of the outlook for the full fiscal year, management expects to see comparable sales flat to up slightly in the second half of the year and gross profit rate down compared to last year’s rate of 61%. The consensus forecast for the year is a $0.30 per share net loss and $3.27 billion in revenue.

The company said its cash and cash equivalents totaled $421.9 million at the end of the quarter, down from $455.6 million last year.

Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, commented:

We are encouraged by the clear progress across all brands. Through aggressive execution of our strategic plan, we delivered our third consecutive quarter of sequential comparable sales improvement. Hollister continues to build on its strong foundation, leveraging higher levels of customer engagement to drive growth across all touchpoints, and demonstrates how the customer responds when product, brand voice and brand experience are aligned. Abercrombie showed continued improvement in the areas we expected, as we brought better balance to the assortment throughout the quarter, and continued to apply the learnings from Hollister`s successes. Our focus remains on staying close to our customers and investing in our ability to meet their needs whenever, wherever and however they choose to engage with our brands.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch traded Thursday morning up 15% at $11.05, while the broader markets were lower. The consensus analyst price target is $11.50, and the 52-week trading range is $8.81 to $23.29.