Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) slipped again last month, falling 10% according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Though there was little news on the stock, it continued to drop following a weak earnings report at the end of August and on general negativity in apparel retailers.
The teen apparel retailer fell 20.3% on Aug. 30 after its second-quarter earnings report came out. Comparable sales in the period fell 4% for the second quarter in a row, and adjusted earnings per share tumbled from a $0.12 in the quarter a year ago to a loss of $0.25 per share.
Through the first two sessions in September, the stock slipped another 4%. It briefly recovered as Jefferies reiterated its "buy" rating, but was downgraded from "hold" to "sell" by Zacks on Sept. 9 as the research firm noted it missed earnings expectations and was facing soft traffic trends. On Sept. 26, the stock fell nearly 4% after the S&P 500 announced it would be taken out of its mid-cap index and put in its small-cap index, which has an effect on ETF's and also shows how far the stock has fallen.
Abercrombie does not report monthly sales, but two struggling apparel retailer surged after reporting their September figures. Gap Inc. and Zumiez both jumped by double digits as Zumiez's comps climbed 6.3% last month and Gap's adjusted comps were flat. That could indicate that the fall season and key back-to-school month have been kinder to mall-based retailers.
I wouldn't assume a turnaround at Abercrombie based on those figures alone, but UBS also weighed in last month to say that it thought Abercrombie's sales would bounce back by the fourth quarter. Plenty of headwinds remain for the company and its dividend could be slashed, but there should be a bottom somewhere in its same-store sales decline.