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Interestingly, this Fool article out today pans ANF as the stock drops below $16. This really shocked me to see a pan at this point in time.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2008/11/17/has-abercro...

Here are several random things (good and bad) that I think the article missed:

1) Net of debt, ANF has about $2.5/share in cash on the balance sheet. That is pretty substantial when the stock is trading so low. It is not like ANF has debt covenants that it is in danger of violating. Dividend is almost 4% now, and ANF has the cash flow/balance to back it up.

2) ANF's strongest sales and earnings are during the Christmas season. The cash balance is going up in the near future, notwithstanding the fact that this is going to be a relatively lousy Christmas. If anything you would expect the cash balance to be at a low point this time off year. Yet, it has $2.5/share net cash.

3) Heard during the conference call that Jefferies (excuse spelling) contract is up in the near future? That is worrisome. He didn't think he could talk about negotiations. Also worrisome.

4) Funny that ANF did not talk about share repurchases or the dividend during the earnings call. I'm not sure what to make of that to tell you the truth.

5) ANF is totally focused on the long-term, and maintaining its brand. Unlike AEO and others, ANF will not cut prices to drive sales (OK, it will cut to move some seasonal inventory from time to time, but that is it). Of course, this means that ANF is going to suffer more than other retailers over the short-term.

6) At one point in the earnings call, a caller suggested that earnings could drop to $1.50 a share next year. ANF did not deny it, and stated it was not in a position to give guidance.

7) The recent downturn puts ANF in a position to negotiate new leases on relatively favorable terms, and to renegotiate existing leases (I assume ANF meant that it could renegotiate as leases expire).

8) ANF is going to increase square footage 8 (or 9?) percent next year.

9) Are customers really leaving ANF for Target? It worries me that I don't really understand this: "Having a unique fashion sense is "in," as teenybopper stars from shows like The Hills and Gossip Girl alter the demographic's fashion tastes." I have to admit, this board used to see a steady stream of comments from people actually visiting/shopping in the stores. Haven't seen that in years.
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