This trendy retailer looks like a risky momentum play


Back in August, I discussed my amazement at the performance of shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF). The stock just didn't seem to reflect the fundamentals of the company's business. Well, my amazement continues, because shares of the retailer are up 9% on Friday on the latest earnings report -a report that did not impress me.

For the third quarter, Abercrombie made, on a reported basis, 44 cents per diluted share compared to 72 cents per diluted share in the year-ago period. After adjustments, earnings came in at 30 cents per share. Okay, that profit drop is bad enough, but wait till I get to the really bad stuff --revenues. Total sales declined 15%, but same-store sales were even worse: They plunged off the proverbial cliff, falling 22%.