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Abercrombie & Fitch Is America's 'Most Hated Retailer' And Keeps Falling Amid Analyst Criticism

Abercrombie & Fitch Is America's 'Most Hated Retailer' And Keeps Falling Amid Analyst Criticism
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When a company is already struggling to adapt its brand to a changing market environment, the last thing it needs it to be named at the top of a list of “most hated companies.”

Unfortunately, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) gained the dubious distinction of Fortune’s most hated retail company in the world earlier this year.

Argus analyst John Eade sees potential in Abercrombie, but the company needs to start showing signs of life before the stock becomes an appealing investment.

According to Eade, there’s a simple explanation for why Abercrombie’s margins have plummeted from nearly 20 percent in the 2000–2010 era to only 2 percent in fiscal 2016.

“We believe this reflects the company’s failure to adapt its exclusive ‘pricy preppy’ aesthetic to the tastes (and financial constraints) of socially conscious Millennials,” Eade explained.

Related Link: Mall Traffic Is Actually Increasing Among Teens, According To A Major Survey

Argus recently reduced its fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 EPS estimates significantly from $0.85 and $1.25 to $0.56 and $0.71, respectively. The firm maintains a Hold rating on the show-me stock. Eage said Argus will need to see consistent improvement in store traffic and comp sales without further damage to gross margins before the firm will consider an upgrade.

Abercrombie shares have been beaten up pretty badly of late. In the past five years, the stock is down 75.2 percent. At time of writing, the stock was down 0.83 percent on the day at $16.71.

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Latest Ratings for ANF

Oct 2016KeyBancDowngradesOverweightSector Weight
Sep 2016CitigroupMaintainsNeutral
Aug 2016Stifel NicolausDowngradesBuyHold

View More Analyst Ratings for ANF
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