Even though Abercrombie & Fitch Co. posted a larger second-quarter loss, shares of the retailer jumped 14.6 percent in pre-market trading after the company bested Wall Street’s consensus estimates for EPS and revenues.
The shares were trading at $11.01 at 8:25 a.m. after the company reported better-than-expected EPS results on an adjusted basis.
The loss for the three months ended July 29 was $15.5 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, up from a loss of $13.1 million, or 19 cents, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, excluding charges related to the impairment of store assets, the net loss was $11 million, or 16 cents. Net sales slipped 0.4 percent to $779.3 million from $783.2 million. The company said comparable-store sales were down 1 percent in the quarter. By brand, comps were up 5 percent for Hollister and down 7 percent for Abercrombie.
Wall Street was expecting an EPS loss of 33 cents on revenues of $758.6 million.
Fran Horowitz, chief executive officer, said, “Through aggressive execution of our strategic plan, we delivered our third consecutive quarter of sequential comparable sales improvement.”
She said Hollister is leveraging higher levels of customer engagement to drive growth across all touch points, while Abercrombie is showing improvement helped by a better balance to the assortment in the quarter.
“Our focus remains on staying close to our customers and investing in our ability to meet their needs whenever, wherever and however they choose to engage with our brands,” the ceo said.
Horowitz said that the company expects the current retail environment to “remain challenging and promotional in the second half.” She also said the company expects to see benefits from continued improvement in product assortment and that the strategic investments in marketing and omnichannel, plus efforts to optimize productivity across all channels, is the right path to “deliver enhanced performance and long-term shareholder value.”
For the quarter, the company said the gross profit rate was 59.1 percent, or 160 basis points, lower than last year due to lower average unit retail.
For fiscal 2017, the company guided comparable sales to be flat, with the second half flat to up slightly for the six months. It said capital expenditures for the full year would be about $100 million. The company expects to close 60 stores in the U.S. through natural lease expirations, and will open seven stores, primarily in the U.S., and two outlet stores.