UPDATE 2-Abercrombie tops estimates, scraps with Jersey Shore cast

Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:14am EDT

* Q2 rev $916.8 mln vs est $878.8 mln

* Says to close about 60-65 domestic stores in 2011

* Shares up 4 percent pre-market (Compares with estimates, adds details on sales and shares movement)

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Abercrombie and Fitch posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as teenagers, both in the United States as well as in international markets, readily shopped at its stores for jeans, T-shirts and other staples.

Shares of the company were up 4 percent in trading before the bell.

The preppy retailer, which has been steadily gaining market share from rivals like American Eagle Outfitters and Aeropostale , has been running discounts ahead of the back-to-school season to gain traffic.

On Tuesday, the company said it had offered to pay Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino, from MTV's The Jersey Shore, to stop wearing the brand.

The company said it was concerned that Sorrentino's association with the brand could cause significant damage to its image. The wildly popular reality show is often derided for the wild antics and over-the-top behavior of its cast.

For the second quarter, the retailer earned $32.0 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with $19.5 million, or 22 cents a share, last year.

Besides its namesake stores, Abercrombie also runs the Hollister, abercrombie kids and Gilly Hicks stores.

Sales at the company, which has been working on its image as the casual-clothes destination for teenagers, rose 23 percent to $916.8 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 30 cents a share, on revenue of $878.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

International sales rose 74 percent to $231.9 million. Domestic sales rose 12 percent.

The company, which operates 1,073 stores under its various brand names, has been relying on international expansion to support long-term growth even as it closes weaker U.S. stores.

On Wednesday, it said it expects to open 40 international mall-based Hollister stores this year, and close about 60-65 domestic stores as their leases expire.

Abercrombie shares closed at $71.02 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. They were trading at $73.85 before the morning bell. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)