BUZZ--Street view: Choppy Q2 ahead for Abercrombie & Fitch

May 30 (Reuters) - ** Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co on Wednesday forecast second-quarter sales below estimates, amid slowing demand for Hollister, a brand that has fuelled company growth over the last two years

** At least four brokerages cut their PT following results

** Shares dropped 25% on Wednesday


** Jefferies (“hold,” PT: $20) says co’s progress remains choppy and Q1 was overshadowed by soft Q2 guidance

** “While we are encouraged by actions taken to reduce the headwind from underperforming stores, the decel. into Q2 and increased reliance on H2 to meet the FY guide gives us pause,” - Jefferies

** Wedbush (“underperform,” PT: $16) says current trends reflected in proprietary data show deteriorating weekly cadence in May, and not seeing signs of improvement at Abercrombie or Hollister

** Wedbush says even the guidance that sorely missed investor expectations is at risk, compounded by continued uncertainty around tariff increases not reflected in new guidance

** RBC (“sector perform,” PT: $22) says choppy May start suggests co is currently running below Q2’s flat guidance

** B.Riley (“Neutral,” PT: $24) says Hollister slows due to weaker Asia performance

** Expects Q2 top-line to be flat to +2% YOY, while SSS should be flat (Reporting by Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)