Why Abercrombie & Fitch Is Friday’s Biggest Earnings Winner

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Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) released its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Friday. While the retail sector has been under assault by Amazon, most companies have been fairly muted in their performance. But it seems like Abercrombie & Fitch is breaking out, at least for now.

The company posted $0.30 in earnings per share (EPS) and $859.1 million in revenue, compared with a consensus forecast from Thomson Reuters of $0.22 in EPS on revenue of $818.9 million. In the fiscal third quarter of last year, the retailer posted EPS of $0.02 and $821.73 million in revenue.

During the quarter, comparable sales increased 4%, compared with a decrease of 1% in the second quarter. Comparable sales increased 8% in the Hollister brand but fell 2% in the Abercrombie brand.

In terms of the outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter, the company expects to see comparable sales to be up low-single digits, and net sales to be up mid- to high-single digits. There are consensus estimates that are calling for $0.80 in EPS and $1.06 billion in revenue for the coming quarter.

On the books, Abercrombie cash and cash equivalents totaled $459.3 million at the end of the quarter, compared with $469.7 million last year.

CEO Fran Horowitz commented:

We are pleased by the clear progress across all brands, delivering another quarter of sequential comparable sales improvement, and a return to positive comparable sales. This sales performance in combination with disciplined expense management drove profit growth, despite the promotional environment. Our customers remain at the center of all we do, and that singular focus continues to drive both our brands forward, with effective engagement across all channels driving positive overall traffic and conversion trends. Hollister delivered another quarter of sales growth across all channels and geographies, and Abercrombie is beginning to show signs of stabilization.

Shares of Abercrombie were last seen up about 27% at $15.94. The consensus analyst price target is just $11.31 for now, and a 52-week trading range is $8.81 to $16.36.