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Abercrombie & Fitch Rises as CEO Predicts Global Growth

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Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Abercrombie & Fitch Co., the operator of its namesake and Hollister teen-clothing stores, rose after the U.S. company said international sales growth would boost profit this year.

Abercrombie rose 8.3 percent to $48.30 at the close in New York. The stock fell 15 percent last year.

Net income fell 15 percent to $127.7 million, or $1.43 a share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, from $150.3 million, or $1.67, a year earlier, the New Albany, Ohio-based company said today in a statement. Abercrombie cut costs, including closing 68 U.S. stores, and plans to invest more in its direct and international business, Chief Executive Officer Michael Jeffries told analysts and investors on a conference call.

“Based on these factors, we predict strong EPS growth in 2012,” Jeffries said. The company reiterated its full year forecast for adjusted profit of $3.50 to $3.75 a share.

The company, which operated 1,045 stores as of the end of its fourth quarter, said it plans to open locations this year in Hamburg, Hong Kong, Munich, Dublin, Amsterdam and London.

Net sales in the fourth quarter rose 16 percent, while while international sales increased 62 percent, the company said. Same-store sales were flat, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Lutz in New York at alutz8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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