Piper Jaffray Upgraded A&F Ahead of Earnings

Jon C. Ogg

AbercrombieAbercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) bucked much of the selling pressure on Monday. Just hours ahead of its earnings report this Tuesday, Piper Jaffray raised its official analyst rating to Outperform from Neutral.

The firm also raised its official analyst price target up to $27 from $25 in the call.

What drove this upgrade was the firm’s view that denim prices were selling at or above the identical prices from a year earlier. Such store checks and channel checks have given Piper Jaffray some confidence that its sales in the fall season will remain high.

Bringing in international managers might have caused some controversy, but Piper Jaffray thinks this was the right call that may bring in accountability to its brand.

Another boost comes from the stock already having sold off sharply and from there being a potential upside surprise with earnings. Despite the stock being close to a year-low, that is actually a 6 year low.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch were up over 5% at $17.28 late on Monday. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $15.42 to $45.50, and the consensus analyst price target is $21.17.

As far as what to expect with earnings, the consensus analyst estimates are for a slight loss at -$0.04 in earnings per share (versus a positive reading of $0.19 a year ago) on an 8.8% drop in revenues down to $812 million.

For the 2015 calendar year (Jan-2016 Fiscal Year), the consensus analyst estimates are $0.73 in earnings per share and $3.48 billion in revenues. That would be down from $1.54 per share and down 7% from the $3.74 billion in revenues seen generated in 2014.