Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. surged in pre-market trading after the teen retailer posted second-quarter results that bested Wall Street’s consensus.
The shares rose 15.2 percent to $19.90.
For the three months ended Aug. 1, the net loss was $810,000, or 1 cent a diluted share, against net income of $12.9 million, or 17 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, excluding certain charges, net income was $8.6 million, or 12 cents a diluted cents. Net sales slipped 8.2 percent to $817.8 million from $890.6 million. Wall Street was expecting an adjusted loss of 4 cents a share on sales of $811.5 million.
Arthur Martinez, chairman of Abercrombie & Fitch, said, “We made good progress in Hollister and Abercrombie Kids, but more modest progress at Abercrombie & Fitch.”
“We understand the challenges ahead. We are taking the steps necessary to deliver continued improvement in our performance and to establish very clear brand positions that will guide all elements of our business and provide the foundation for long-term profitability and growth,” Martinez added.
Cowen & Co. analyst Oliver Chen has a “market perform” rating on A&F shares. He noted that the company had a “nice second-quarter earnings per share beat, but challenges [are] still ahead.” While there are improvements such as improved comparable-store sales on a sequential basis — driven by Hollister and Abercrombie Kids and international — concerns include “traffic, outfitting relevance, Primark in the U.S.” and the timing of impact of back-to-basics changes given the hyper-competitive teen market, Chen noted.
The company is still searching for a chief executive officer, and has been since former ceo Michael Jeffries retired in December.
During the conference call to Wall Street analysts, Martinez said, “With regard to a ceo decision, the board remains deeply engaged in this decision,” noting that it is “far better to make the right choice than a hasty choice.”