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Sector Update: Consumer

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 12/3/2013 3:45:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: ANF;SWY

Consumer stocks are mixed with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 rising 0.3%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 are down 1.0%.

In company news, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ( ANF ) shares are one of the best gainers on the S&P 500 Tuesday, rising over 5% to $35.77 apiece, after an activist investment equity fund sent a letter to the teen apparel retailer's board calling for the ouster of its 69-year-old CEO when his contract expires in two months.

Engaged Capital, owner of around 400,000 ANF shares, argues the company should not renew Michael Jefferies' contract as chief executive when it expires Feb. 1, 2014. Engaged principal Gleen Welling also said he's had "ongoing and constructive dialogue" with ANF management and board members as well as other large shareholders.

His message: "An immediate leadership change is necessary," blaming what he calls the company's "perennial underperformance" on a failure of leadership. Welling also is calling ANF to explore a possible sale to a private-equity group.

In other sector news,

(+) RNDY, Acquires 11 Chicago-area Dominick's stores from Safeway Inc. ( SWY ) for $36 million. Stores are being rebranded as Mariano's supermarkets, nearly doubling the size of the chain from 13 to 24 locations.

(-) KKD, Forecasts adjusted FY15 EPS of $0.71 to 0.76, trailing Street view by at least $0.03 per share. Downside guidance upstages Q3 earnings, ex items, of $0.16 a share, beating consensus by $0.01. Revenue rises 6.6% to $114.2, matching expectations.