Abercrombie & Fitch Q1 loss widens, sales dive amid temporary store closings

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Abercrombie & Fitch Q1 loss widens, sales dive amid temporary store closings

By Marianne Wilson - 05/28/2020

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported earnings and sales that missed expectations as its stores remained dark due to the COVID-19 crisis. But business is picking up as its stores to reopen.

“With stores reopening in the U.S. and the EMEA regions, we have experienced sales productivity for reopened stores of approximately 80% and 60%, respectively, as compared to last year’s levels,” stated CEO Fran Horowitz. (As of May 28, about half of Abercrombie’s global store base has reopened.) 

Abercrombie’s net losses totaled $244.1 million, or $3.90 per share, in the quarter ended May 4, compared to a loss of $19.2 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted losses were $3.29 per share. Analysts expected an adjusted net loss of $1.39 per share.

Sales fell 34% to $485.4 million from $734.0 million, missing estimates of $497.0 million. By division, Hollister sales fell 36% to $273.0 million and Abercrombie sales declined 30% to $212.3 million. Digital sales grew 25%, with acceleration in the mid-March through April period and further acceleration in May. (The retailer did not give same-store sales metrics.)

Abercrombie & Fitch had cash and equivalents of $704 million as of May 2 with $800,000 remaining from its $89.4 million ABL facility. The company has pulled its guidance. Abercrombie & Fitch stock has tumbled 24.5% for the year.

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