Ken Griffin

According to a 13G filed with the SEC, Citadel Advisors has dramatically boosted its stake in Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF). As of September 30th, the hedge fund owned a tiny position in the Ohio based company. According to the latest filing, Ken Griffin’s hedge fund, now owns a 6.3% stake. The 5,216,842 shares owned in the retailer, make Citadel the third largest shareholder.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) recently reported 3Q results that were significantly better than expectations. Comps, EPS, gross margin, and inventories all came in better and management noted that trends in their international business improved as well.

3Q is the second quarter in a row of management discussing “getting faster” in terms of lead times and product flows. While the notion of quickly turning inventory, decreasing lead times and chasing trends is not a particularly new idea in fashion apparel, it seems management at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) is now moving more aggressively on these fronts.

International comps were (18)%, improved from the (26)% in 2Q. In terms of comp performance, the UK continues to struggle, with comps down in the high 20’s, while management is becoming more optimistic on their Asian operations.

For the 26 weeks ended 28 July 2012, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) revenues increased 7% to $1.87B. Net income before extraordinary items decreased 67% to $18.5M. Revenues reflect International Stores segment increase of 35% to $479.8M, Direct To Customers segment increase of 33% to $275.9M, Europe segment increase of 40% to $469.9M, International segment increase of 19% to $110.4M, Retail Sales-International increase of 35% to $479.8M.

The companies main competitors include, The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO), and American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO).

Disclosure: No position