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Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Can’t Keep his Mouth Shut

It’s not exactly breaking news but the fall out against Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) CEO, Mike Jeffries continues. In case you missed his latest PR nightmare, here’s what he said:

“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

Let’s be honest. Anybody familiar with Abercrombie already knows that what he said is true. It’s not like you go into the store and see evidence to the contrary. The company has every right to cater to a certain type of person just as there are plenty of stores that only cater teens and others that cater to those who don’t fit the cool-kid mode.

The problem in this case is that you don’t go on record and say it–at least not so bluntly.

The other problem with his statement is that Jeffries isn’t exactly riding a wave of stellar stock performance. Sure, the stock is up nicely in the past 12 months but over the past two years, it’s down 28 percent despite a raging bull market. Jeffries is on thin ice and this along, with numerous past far-too-blunt statements by the CEO may this time end with Jeffries “spending more time with his family,” as CEOs love to say when they’re asked to leave the company.

Technically, the stock recently broke out of a basing pattern, passing about its 50 day exponential moving average. This could clear the way for further upside. Jeffries recent comments didn’t appear to wane investor optimism in the name.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in any of the securities mentioned.

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