Abercrombie & Fitch same-store sales plunge again

Wed Nov 6, 2013 3:48am IST

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* Third-quarter revenue falls 12 pct to $1.03 bln vs est $1.07 bln

* Comparable sales fall 14 pct

* Cuts full-year adjusted earnings/share view to $1.40-$1.50 vs est $1.96

* Shares fall as much as 15 pct in after-market trading

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Abercrombie & Fitch Co reported another double-digit drop in quarterly comparable sales as young shoppers stayed away, and the teen retailer more than halved its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

The company's shares fell as much as 15 percent after the bell.

Abercrombie and rivals such as Aeropostale Inc and American Eagle Outfitters Inc have been struggling as young shoppers shy away from their logo-centric clothes in favor of the trendier merchandise offered at chains like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M.

"Our results for the third quarter reflect continued top-line challenges, with overall spending among younger consumers remaining weak," Abercrombie Chief Executive Mike Jeffries said in a statement.

Abercrombie said it expects adjusted earnings for the full year of $1.40-$1.50 per share, down from its forecast of $3.15-$3.25 per share in May.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.96 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Same-store sales declined 14 percent in the third quarter. They fell 10 percent in the second quarter ended Aug. 3.

The company expects a low double-digit decrease in comparable sales for the current quarter.

Net sales fell 12 percent to $1.03 billion in the quarter ended Nov. 2, missing analysts' average estimates of $1.07 billion.

Abercrombie said it expects to incur pre-tax charges of about $90 million-$100 million in the third quarter related to the restructuring of its Gilly Hicks intimate apparel brand.

The company said it will close all of its standalone Gilly Hicks stores and offer the brand through its Hollister stores and online business.

Abercrombie shares were down 5 percent at $36.10 after the bell. They had closed at $38.31 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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