Hollister brand helps boost Abercrombie & Fitch

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported better-than-expected financial results for its most recent quarter, thanks to a rise in sales at the teen retailer's Hollister brand.

The company's shares rose about 2 percent in afternoon trading Wednesday after climbing earlier to their highest point in more than a year.

Abercrombie & Fitch shook up its image last year to try and reverse falling sales. It updated its fashions and stopped having shirtless models stand in its stores.

The company said sales at stores open at least a year, considered a key measure of a retailer's health, rose 1 percent in the fourth quarter.

Its Hollister brand, which sells clothing inspired by Southern California style, showed the most improvement.

Sales at Hollister stores open at least a year rose 4 percent, compared with a 2 percent drop at Abercrombie brand stores. Hollister also brought in more revenue for the company, $603.6 million compared with Abercrombie's $509.4 million.

The New Albany, Ohio-based company said it expects sales at stores open at least a year to be flat or slightly higher for the current year.

The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $57.7 million, or 85 cents per share, compared with $44.4 million, or 63 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.08 per share, exceeding Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 96 cents per share.

Revenue fell nearly 1 percent to $1.11 billion, also beating Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.1 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of $35.6 million, or 51 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $3.52 billion.

Abercrombie & Fitch shares rose 56 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $29.70 in afternoon trading Wednesday. They rose as high as $31.45 earlier, the stock's highest point since November 2014.


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 http://www.zacks.com/ap/ANF


Keywords: Abercrombie & Fitch, Earnings Report