Abercrombie off the mark in 3Q as turnaround efforts sputter


NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — Abercrombie & Fitch said a key sales measure fell for the third straight quarter, after an effort to turn around the once-popular teen clothing brand failed to bring shoppers back to its stores.

The company also said its profit plummeted 81 percent in the most recent quarter, and its shares fell 12 percent before the stock market opened Friday.

Once a top shop for teens, Abercrombie has struggled to attract youngsters who are more likely to shop at cheaper fast-fashion chains such as H&M and Forever 21. Abercrombie ditched its sexy advertising and banished shirtless male models from its stores last year, but people are still not coming to its stores like they had been. Sales at established Abercrombie stores fell 14 percent in the most recent quarter, and the company said it expects the brand to remain “challenging” throughout the rest of the year.

When all its brands are included, sales at established stores fell 6 percent in the quarter. That’s far below the 4.4 percent drop that analysts expected, according to FactSet. The New Albany, Ohio-based company operates 900 Abercrombie and Hollister stores around the world.

Overall, the company reported net income of $7.9 million, or 12 cents per share, in the third quarter, down from $41.9 million, or 60 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were 2 cents per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. Analysts had expected earnings of 19 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue fell 6 percent to $821.7 million in the period, missing the $830.6 million that analysts expected, according to Zachs.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. fell $2.03 to $14.90 in premarket trading. Its shares are down 37 percent since the beginning of the year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ANF at https://www.zacks.com/ap/ANF

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Keywords: Abercrombie & Fitch, Earnings Report

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