Why Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Abercrombie & Fitch  (ANF) was rising 8.92% to $39.20 on Wednesday morning after the apparel retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations and announced it would buy back $150 million in shares in the current quarter.

Profit in the fourth quarter, excluding items such as asset-impairment charges and $36.8 million in charges tied to the restructuring of the Gilly Hicks brand, was $1.34 a share. This easily beat the consensus estimate of $1.04 from analysts polled by Bloomberg. Including those items, Abercrombie & Fitch earned $66.1 million, or 85 cents a share, down 58% from $157.2 million, or $1.95 a share, in the same period one year earlier.

Revenue also fell 12% to $1.3 billion, which came up short of the consensus of $1.36 billion. Same-store sales fell 8% in the quarter.

The retailer forecast full-year earnings per share of $2.15 to $2.35 with high-single digit decline in same-store sales and a 20% spike in direct-to-consumer sales. Analysts estimated EPS of $2.33.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ABERCROMBIE & FITCH as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ABERCROMBIE & FITCH (ANF) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow."

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