Horrors! After being chosen as a sweet Halloween treat -- and rising a tasty 16% since then -- retail stalwart Abercrombie & Fitch
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
With Hollister booming and the new Reuhl stores coming on line to sell yet another "aspirational lifestyle" to maturing Abercrombie kids -- look out, Gap
For related Foolishness:
- See why Abercrombie is such a potential treat.
- Is Abercrombie bankrupting young Americans?
- How does Abercrombie measure up to Pacific Sunwear
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.