Aug 26, 10:06 AM EDT

Abercrombie & Fitch 2Q results top Wall Street's view as a key sales figure improves


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NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) -- Abercrombie & Fitch's fiscal second-quarter results topped analysts' estimates as a key sales metric improved.

The New Albany, Ohio-based company's stock jumped more than 11 percent in morning trading Wednesday.

Abercrombie & Fitch began tinkering with its image earlier this year in an effort to reverse declining sales. The teen clothing retailer's changes include no longer having shirtless models at its stores, getting rid of "sexualized" ads, shrinking the logo on its clothing and trying to stock trendier merchandise to keep up with "fast fashion" chains that change their styles more often.

Quarterly revenue for the chain fell to $817.8 million from $890.6 million, but still beat Wall Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research predicted $811.3 million in revenue.

While sales at stores open at least a year dropped 4 percent, it was better than the 8 percent decline reported in the first quarter.

This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the Hollister brand, such sales edged down 1 percent. This compares with a 6 percent drop in the first quarter. The Abercrombie brand reported a 7 percent decline, compared with a 9 percent fall in the previous quarter.

Abercrombie & Fitch said that it expects same-store sales to continue to improve going forward.

For the period ended Aug. 1, the chain lost $810,000, or a penny per share. That compares with a profit of $12.9 million, or 17 cents per share, a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 12 cents per share.

The results topped analysts' expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks was for a loss of 8 cents per share.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. added $1.93, or 11.2 percent, to $19.20 in morning trading. Its shares are down about 33 percent so far this year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap ) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ANF at http://www.zacks.com/ap/ANF

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Keywords: Abercrombie & Fitch, Earnings Report

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