Abercrombie seen as early winner in Thanksgiving clothing sales

NEW YORK, Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Abercrombie & Fitch Co. seemed to come out ahead of other clothing retailers during the annual Black Friday kickoff to the holiday shopping season, analysts said on Monday.

Abercrombie and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. were among the perceived winners in a four-day weekend when some stores opened on Thanksgiving night and people shopped online in greater numbers than ever before.

The National Retail Federation trade group reported on Sunday that total sales for the four days from Thanksgiving through Sunday had risen 12.8 percent to $59.1 billion. That is down from a 16.4 percent increase last year.

Abercrombie, which operates the Hollister chain in addition to its namesake stores, “was the clear winner,” with the longest lines and units per transaction during the weekend, according to Oppenheimer analyst Pamela Quintiliano.

Abercrombie & Fitch posts higher profit, shares jump

NEW ALBANY, Ohio, Wed Nov 14, 2012 – Abercrombie & Fitch Co. teen clothing retailer posted a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday after improved demand in foreign markets, prompting the company to forecast yearly earnings above Wall Street’s estimates.

Shares of the company, which hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in September to help ward off pressure from investors, jumped 21 percent to $37.75 in trading before the bell. Abercrombie & Fitch closed at $31.18 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The retailer expects to make about $2.85-$3 a share for the full year. Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to earn $2.48 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Over the past year, Abercrombie & Fitch sales fell as the chain’s style lost favor in a segment dominated by so-called fast-fashion retailers.

Rivals such as Forever21 offer more-affordable clothes for more fashion seasons, while peers such as American Eagle Outfitters and Gap Inc. have done a better job of turning over inventory and styles.

The company has also taken steps to stop the sales drain, from increasing sourcing from the United States and Central America to delaying expansion in troubled European markets.