Abercrombie & Fitch Stock Sinks on Company Earnings, Outlook

Clothes on hangers
Clothes on hangers

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) reported first-quarter fiscal 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The specialty retailer posted a diluted earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.09 on revenues of $838.8 million. In the same period a year ago, the company reported a net loss of $0.25 per share on revenues of $921.2 million. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for a net loss of $0.05 per share and $941.66 million in revenues.

Same-store sales fell 17% and direct-to-consumer sales fell 6% for a combined decline of 15%. Gross margin rose 7.2 points year-over-year to 65.9%

A&F revised its fiscal year guidance from an expected EPS range of $3.35 to $3.45 to a new range of $3.15 to $3.25. For the second quarter the company expects EPS in the range of $0.28 to $0.33.

The consensus estimate for full-year EPS was $3.49 and the second-quarter estimate was $0.31. The lower guidance coupled with the bad miss on revenues foreshadows a beating on A&F's stock today.

The company's CEO said:

The first quarter proved to be more difficult than expected on the top-line due to more significant inventory shortage issues than anticipated, added to by external pressures. However, comparable sales trends progressively improved during the quarter and with the inventory headwinds largely behind us, we expect to see continued sequential improvement in the second quarter.

A&F needs to get its story straight. The CEO says comparable sales will improve. In the company's outlook, the drop in expected full-year EPS "assumes comparable sales, including direct-to-consumer to be slightly down for the balance of the year." Sales will not get better and worse at the same time, no matter how hard A&F tries to make it happen.

Shares are trading down nearly 11%, at $48.59 in a 52-week range of $28.64 to $55.23. The consensus target price for the shares was around $54.00 before today's report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Retail, Services Tagged: ANF