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Abercrombie & Fitch Gets Two Thumbs Up From Analysts, Its Stock Drops Anyway

By Rhian Hunt - May 19, 2020 at 6:35PM

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Both firms see a significant upside thanks to brand strength and other factors.

Shares of lifestyle retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF -3.92%) traded lower today despite positive outlooks provided by research notes from a pair of major investment firms. Both Wedbush Securities and investment bank B. Riley FBR expressed optimism today about the apparel seller, which, like much of the sector, saw sales and share value plunge in March and April as COVID-19 spread through major U.S. cities.

From B. Riley, analyst Susan Anderson gave Abercrombie & Fitch a $13 per share price target, expecting it to "outperform" under current conditions, with sector sales recovering and company cost-cutting and online efficiency winning over investors. She kept Abercrombie rated as Buy, along with several other apparel sector stocks.

A stock market analyst looking at a computer screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

Her research note pointed to Abercrombie's "growing strength in the A&F brand and Hollister which continues to resonate with consumers" to support the rating. She also noted that international sales could provide the company with a boost, considering "some of the pressure in Europe and U.S. should be mitigating by Asia opening."

Meanwhile, Wedbush kept an even higher price target in place, forecasting $16 per share. It also continues its Outperform rating on the retailer, unchanged from its previous rating. In the firm's research note, analyst Jen Redding declared that Abercrombie's "management has eyes on the prize, and look to have navigated through COVID-19 exceptionally well capitalizing on momentum pre-COVID, best in class social marketing, and a powerful omni-channel better-than-most."

Despite the endorsements, Abercrombie & Fitch shares were down -1.8% at market close, priced at $11.65 and still well below the $17 to $18 range they traded in prior to COVID-19.

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