Is This the Turning Point for Abercrombie & Fitch?

Print Email

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. While overall results did not meet expectations, the past year was said to be one of significant progress, although shares are just above their multiyear lows. The results may have missed, but they were still enough to turn shares around from their long slide down, at least for now.

The company posted $0.71 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.04 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.75 in EPS and revenue of $1.05 billion. In the same period of last year, Abercrombie reported EPS of $1.08 and $1.11 billion in revenue.

Comparable sales for the company as a whole were down 5% during the fourth quarter. According to the breakdown, the Abercrombie brand comparable sales declined by 13% and Hollister posted positive comparable sales of 1%.

In terms of the outlook for the 2017 full year, the company expects to see comparable sales improve for the full year, but to remain challenging for the first half. Hollister, its largest brand, is expected to maintain or improve its comparable sales trend and Abercrombie to improve throughout the year. The consensus estimates predict $0.15 in EPS and $3.3 billion in revenue for the year.

On the books, Abercrombie’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $547.2 million at the end of the quarter, versus $588.6 million in the same period last year.

Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, commented:

Results for the quarter reflect a still challenging and competitive retail environment, however we continue to make progress on our strategic priorities. Hollister, our largest brand, achieved positive comp sales and the Abercrombie brand renewal continues, although it is a work in progress. International markets improved measurably from last quarter, for both Abercrombie and Hollister brands, and the direct-to-consumer business continued to deliver positive comparable sales in both the U.S. and international markets. However, the competitive environment resulted in more promotional activity and a lower gross margin rate than planned.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch was up 13% early Thursday at $13.21, with a consensus analyst price target of $13.32 and a 52-week trading range of $10.91 to $32.83.