|12:36 EDT||JCP||Abercrombie, American Eagle sink after analyst downgrades|
Shares of specialty teen apparel retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) are falling after a number of analysts issued negative notes on the companies. WHAT'S NEW: Oppenheimer analyst Anna Andreeva downgraded Abercrombie & Fitch to Perform from Outperform. The company's earnings outlook has become less clear as its U.S. brand has not yet become popular, and retail brand turnarounds usually take awhile, Oppenheimer analyst Anna Andreeva wrote in a note to investors. Additionally, Abercrombie's international business, which has deteriorated further this year, faces "mounting uncertainty,” the analyst stated. The analyst slashed her price target on the name to $30 from $50. Meanwhile, Barclays analyst Matthew McClintock downgraded American Eagle Outfitters to Equal Weight from Overweight. McClintock has become more pessimistic about the outlook for American Eagle's comparative store sales in the second half of 2014, given recent data points from a number of retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Kohl's (KSS), Wal-Mart (WMT), J.C. Penney (JCP), and Ann Inc. (ANN). The analyst said he saw no reason why American Eagle should significantly outperform the overall apparel sector. McClintock cut his price target on the name to $11 from $15. Meanwhile, the analyst lowered his rating on the Softline Retail sector to Negative from Positive, as he believes that the sector, which includes companies that sell products like apparel, towels, and jewelry - is facing structural difficulties that are likely to persist for the next several years. Separately, research firm Janney Capital downgraded Abercrombie to Neutral from Buy in a note to investors today. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Abercrombie & Fitch sank 3.5% to $28.50 and American Eagle dropped 4% to $12.40.