Analysts Weigh in on Two Falling Apparel Retailers: Gap Inc (GPS), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF)

Shares of Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), which also owns Banana Republic and Old Navy, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.(NYSE:ANF) each plunged more than 10% Friday following disappointing earnings results. Let’s illuminate recent analyst insights on these two falling apparel giants.

Gap Inc

Gap stock price traded nearly 17% lower (at the time of writing), as more cautious Q4 outlook spooked investors. Management is cautious given a fall off in traffic throughout November and additional expenses related to occupancy for the new Times Square flagship, lapping bonus reversals LY, and additional marketing expense.

As such, Baird analyst Mark Altschwager reiterated a Neutral rating on Gap shares, with a price target of $28, which implies an upside of 8% from current levels.

Altschwager commented, “We were surprised to see management maintain its full-year outlook, implying Q4 well-below Street estimates, as recent margin performance would suggest some upside to the prior range should sales trends remain ~stable through Q4. […] All in, we reduced our estimate from $2.05 to $1.95 believing that margin guidance appears conservative and momentum could continue at Old Navy (on-trend merchandise, strong marketing and easier comparisons coming in Q4); however, we will look for early holiday season trends (November sales) to gain confidence in our above-guidance estimates.”

“Bottom line, we are encouraged by regained momentum at Old Navy in Q3 and some underlying improvement in Gap’s women’s business; however, following the stock’s recent rally (+34% since 9/30) shares appear to reflect a more optimistic outlook — yielding balanced risk/reward today,” the analyst concludes.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Mark Altschwager has a yearly average return of 7.1% and a 56% success rate. Altschwager is ranked #977 out of 4229 analysts.

Out of the 18 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 2 rate Gap stock a Buy, 11 rate the stock a Hold and 5 recommend to Sell. With a downside potential of 2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $25.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly sales as fewer customers visited its namesake stores, sending shares plunging 14% in response.

In reaction, Mizuho Securities analyst Betty Chen reiterated a Neutral rating on ANF stock, while reducing the price target to $15.00 (from $20.00).

Chen commented, “We are lowering our estimates and PT to $15 to incorporate the 3Q miss and expectations for further top-line and margin pressure. As management continues to adjust the assortment and reposition A&F (which may be prolonged), there may be few levers to combat traffic headwinds and weakness in Int’l, flagship stores and FX. While modest sequential improvement at Hollister and DTC growth remains bright spots, ANF’s focus on real estate productivity may be unable to stem near-term earnings declines. Given the plethora of challenges, we view shares as fairly valued.”

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, analyst Betty Chen has a yearly average return of -5.8% and a 42% success rate. Chen has a 12.1% average return when recommending ANF, and is ranked #3880 out of 4229 analysts.

Out of the 16 analysts polled by TipRanks, one is still bullish on ANF stock, 13 are neutral, and two are bearish. With a return potential of nearly 27%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $18.50.


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