Abercrombie Gains as Analyst Sees Faith in Sales Rebound

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Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shares gained 2.9 percent after Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Thomas Filandro said there was increasing confidence that sales will bounce back this year.

Management is “keenly focused” on boosting same-store growth, he said in a report on Tuesday. Filandro said he was adjusting his model for the company, with the expectation that Abercrombie will post a loss of 3 cents a share in the second quarter and then a profit of 35 cents and $1.10 in the following two periods. That’s above the average estimates of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Changes to Abercrombie stores should create “a faster, easier and more enjoyable shopping experience,” said Filandro, who maintained his positive rating on the stock. “Store managers have been afforded greater autonomy and accountability, while aligning incentives with sales performance.”

Two top executives also reported new stakes in the company over the past week, a sign of optimism.

Abercrombie rose to $22.85 at the close on Wednesday in New York. The stock had declined 22 percent this year through Tuesday.

The retailer has been trying to make its stores and product more appealing to teens, who have turned away from Abercrombie in favor of fast fashion and online options. The company has also been without a chief executive officer since December, when longtime head Mike Jeffries stepped down. At the same time, Abercrombie is trying to combat sinking traffic in malls and a strong dollar, which reduced its international sales last quarter.

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