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Abercrombie COO Leaves Post

The company also reaffirms its fiscal-year earnings forecast.
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Clothing merchant

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Class A Report

said Robert S. Singer, the company's president and chief operating officer, will leave his position Aug. 31 after only 15 months.

After the close of trading Monday, Abercrombie Chairman and CEO Mike Jeffries said Singer "helped the Company focus on many important areas of our business, and we believe that his accomplishments will make the transition in leadership quite smooth. However, there was a difference in approach to the timing and extent of our expansion into certain international markets."

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John Lough, executive vice president of logistics and store operations, and Chief Financial Officer Mike Kramer will take over Singer's duties. The company hired a consultant to find a new president and operating chief.

Abercrombie also reported net sales of $287.4 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 27. Same-store sales for the month rose 24%.

The company said its August sales, which historically have been the most important month of the back-to-school season, were "exceptionally strong." Abercrombie reaffirmed its fiscal-year earnings forecast of $3.10 to $3.30, based on a sales target of around $2.7 billion, excluding a charge that will be taken in the third quarter for Singer's severance package.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect a profit of $3.29 a share for the fiscal year. Shares of Abercrombie fell 23 cents to $57.44 in after-hours trading.

Earlier this month, Abercrombie raised its outlook for the year, but its second-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street's estimates.

The company earned $57.4 million, or 63 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $42.9 million, or 44 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Analysts were expecting earnings of 69 cents.