Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. led the fashion industry lower today after Wunderlich Securities analyst Eric Beder downgraded the company to “sell” from “hold.”
Abercrombie’s stock fell 6.5 percent to $24.11, the worst performance among the 100 stocks in the WWD Global Stock Tracker, which declined 0.9 percent to 110.41.
“Both Abercrombie and Hollister have been unable to retain any pricing power as they switch away from logo-driven product, despite material cost cutting and store pruning,” Beder said.
The analyst said Abercrombie’s average unit retail price was off 25.9 percent this month versus a year ago, while Hollister is off 22 percent.
And that’s not the only problem for the company, which is looking for a replacement for its former chief executive officer, Michael Jeffries. “Worries about [foreign currency exchange] and foreign tourist traffic are coming to the fore,” Beder said. “With approximately 20 percent of sales for the first three quarters of [the 2015 fiscal year] and the majority of overall store operating income coming from international sales, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar represents the potential for a material negative. We note the majority of the company’s international stores are euro- or yen-based.”
A strong dollar will also lead to a decline in tourist-driven revenue, he said.
Also losing ground in the markets today were PVH Corp., off 5 percent to $103.19; Dickson Concepts (International), 3.5 percent to 3.55 Hong Kong dollars, or 46 cents, and Safilo Group, down 3.4 percent to 12.55 euros, or $14.20.
Investors were generally feeling bearish and are keeping a close eye on Greece’s efforts to renegotiate the terms of its bailout from the rest of Europe.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York fell 0.5 percent to 17,729.21, while the FTSE 100 in London declined 0.2 percent to 6,837.15 and the FTSE MIB in Milan declined 0.6 percent to 20,819.05.
The trading day started off mixed with the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo up 0.6 percent to 17,711.93 and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong down 0.6 percent to 24,521.