Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Tuesday and raised its guidance, after a strong back-to-school season for its Hollister brand. The New Albany, Ohio-based retailer posted net income of $96.2 million, or $1.83 a share, for the quarter, after a loss of $2.2 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings also came to $1.83, well ahead of the $1.18 FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $1.06 billion from $880 million a year ago, ahead of the $981 million FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 16%. “Net sales growth of 20% accelerated from the second quarter and was once again led by Abercrombie brands with exceptional growth of 30%,” CEO Fran Horowitz said in a statement. “At Hollister brands, we had a solid back to school season, delivering 11% net sales growth for the quarter as our assortment and brand evolution is resonating with our teen customer.” The company raised its full-year guidance and now expects sales to grow 12% to 14%, compared with prior guidance for growth of about 10%. The stock fell 4.4% premarket but has gained 216% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 18%.
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