Abercrombie & Fitch 4Q profit tops Street view, revenue misses, chairman cautious on 1st-half

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NEW ALBANY, Ohio — Abercrombie & Fitch's fiscal fourth-quarter profit beat analysts' expectations, helped by expense control efforts. But the teen clothing retailer's revenue came up short and a top executive warned the first half performance would remain challenging.

Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez cautioned Wednesday that the company faces significant currency pressure in the first half of 2015. Martinez also said that declines in the logo business last year will continue in early 2015 at reduced rates. The executive added that the chain believes the benefits of changes that have been made will be reflected in an improved performance in the second half of the year.

The stock fell more than 14 percent in morning trading.

Abercrombie & Fitch earned $44.4 million, or 63 cents per share, for the period ended Jan. 31. A year earlier it earned $66.1 million, or 85 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.15 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.13 per share.

Stores and distribution expense dropped to $445.6 million from $505.6 million.

The New Albany, Ohio-based company posted revenue of $1.12 billion, falling short of Wall Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.17 billion.

For the year, Abercrombie & Fitch reported an adjusted profit of $1.54 per share on revenue of $3.74 billion.

The retailer said that it anticipates "a significant headwind" from foreign currency exchange rates for fiscal 2015.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. dropped $3.35, or 14.1 percent, to $20.64 in morning trading.

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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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