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This clothing store performed twice as well as Nvidia in the last 52 weeks

This clothing store performed twice as well as Nvidia in the last 52 weeks

While the blue-chip chipmaker and the world’s most influential semiconductor giant, Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), has been on the mind of most investors since late 2022 thanks to its crucial role in the artificial intelligence (AI) boom, it is not the best-performing major stock of the last 12 months.

In fact, though many of the current best-performers of the year have been involved with the driving of the AI renaissance – such as, for example, Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ: SMCI), which awed traders with its 2024 rise from less than $300 to approximately $900 – one of the biggest growers of recent months comes from an entirely different sector.

ANF’s staggering comeback

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) started its century-long journey in New York late in the 1800s. It has since seen many trials and tribulations, including bankruptcy and a pivot from servicing wealthy businessmen and the nobility on their Arctic expeditions to teenagers.

The contemporary clothing company found itself under pressure and with a need to reinvent itself yet again in the 2010s when the competition from other – some might say, more customer-friendly – fast fashion brands began to strangle it.

ANF, as it turned out, rose to the challenge. Not only did it change some of its in-store practices, alter the design of the clothes, and start catering to an older audience, but the firm also heavily invested in its e-commerce platform.

The result of the changes has been a dominance of the e-commerce side of the business, a reinvigoration of the physical locations themselves, and a string of earnings reports that saw Abercrombie & Fitch handily beat expectations, sometimes logging an earnings-per-share (EPS) more than 500% greater than was forecast.

Nonetheless, perhaps the most impressive part of Abercrombie & Fitch’s turnaround has been its stock market performance. 

ANF stock price chart

Though ANF shares plunged in mid-2022, they started recovering – as a result of the multi-year effort to transform the business – late in the year and are as much as 826.98% in the green since.

The exceptionally strong performance continued throughout the last 12 months as the firm recorded a 380.99% rally within the 52 weeks, prompting many to wonder what was going on by February 2024.

ANF stock 12-month price chart. Source: FInbold

Though this year, the year has been slower, Abercrombie & Fitch managed a 65.09% climb since January 2, and ANF price today stands at $151.

Finally, analysts have also been generally bullish on Abercrombie & Fitch, with the two recent major revisions – coming from UBS Group (NYSE: UBS) and Telsey Advisory Group – both being upward changes. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that the forecasts remain cautious, as exemplified by the fact that UBS’ recent price target change still places 12-month estimates for ANF at $155 – only slightly above their press time price.

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