Horrors! After being chosen as a sweet Halloween treat -- and rising a tasty 16% since then -- retail stalwart Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) posted results that seemed to dissatisfy some of the Street; well, at least a few headline writers.

Missing expectations... disappointing guidance... blah blah blah. Where do they get this stuff? In fact, the $0.64 per share on the bottom line -- before a $0.22 charge for litigation settlement -- was not only 25% ahead of earnings for the same period last year but also better than the $0.60 per share analysts were expecting.

Revenues were up 17%, with a big 85% gain at the company's beachwear segment, Hollister. Gross margin made an impressive 2.3% jump as well.

Don't get me wrong; there are warning signs worth watching, too. Operating expenses inflated more than 8%. And forward-looking predictions from management forecast flat comps and fourth-quarter net income.

So why is the firm hitting another 52-week high today? Because in contrast to faster-growing competitors such as Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) and American Eagle Outfitters (NASDAQ:AEOS), Abercrombie is still pretty darn cheap. It's worth remembering that only a few days before, the firm reported record October sales, and there was much rejoicing. Sales gaffes earlier in the year spooked plenty of investors, and it took a while for the Street to re-appreciate Abercrombie's serious cash flow and war chest -- $443 million these days. These were precisely the metrics that pegged it as one of my flush five, and it's up well more than 43% since then.

With Hollister booming and the new Reuhl stores coming on line to sell yet another "aspirational lifestyle" to maturing Abercrombie kids -- look out, Gap (NYSE:GPS) -- there's good cause to have faith in this stock.

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Seth Jayson prefers to wear out his own jeans and wrinkle his own shirts. At the time of publication, he had options on Aeropostale but no ownership interest in any other firm mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.