Abercrombie & Fitch's Stock Sinks After Disappointing Sales, Profit Outlook

Abercrombie & Fitch's stock plunged 14% in premarket trade Friday, after the apparel retailer reported disappointing fiscal third-quarter sales, and provided profit outlook that was well below analyst projections. The company said total sales for the quarter ended Nov. 1 fell 12% from a year ago to $911.4 million, below the FactSet consensus analyst forecast of $982.4 million. Total same-store sales sank 10%, compared with expectations of a 4.6% decline, with U.S. and international sales falling 7% and 15%, respectively. A&F expects adjusted earnings per share for the quarter of 40 cents to 42 cents, while analysts were anticipating 68 cents. "Continued weak store traffic was the primary contributor to the weak sales trend, particularly in Europe, where the environment there showed signs of further slowing," said Chief Executive Mike Jefferies. The stock, which is on course to open at the lowest level since Oct. 31, 2012, has gained 7.5% so far this year through Thursday, compared with a 1.8% rise in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF and a 9.9% advance in the S&P 500.

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