JoS. A. Bank Reports Weak 1Q, But CEO Says Sales Are Rebounding

JoS. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ:JOSB) reported a worse-than-expected 20% decline in first-quarter profit and sales that missed Wall Street estimates, sending its shares 3.6% lower on Wednesday.

However, the company's CEO, R. Neal Black, said sales started to improve in the latter half of the period following marketing changes beginning in week nine and continue to perform well in the current period.

"So far the second quarter has started out much better than the first quarter,” Black said, noting that both comparable store sales and direct marketing sales climbed in May from a year ago.

Father’s Day, which is coming up next month and is a key season for the retailer, still represents a challenge in the current quarter.

The Hampstead, Md.-based seller of men's suits and tuxedos reported net income in the first period of $14.8 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $17.8 million, or 64 cents.

Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll were looking on average for better earnings of 62 cents.

Revenue for the three months ended April 28 was up 4.2% to $201.4 million from $193.3 million a year ago, but missed the Street’s view of $208.9 million.

Comparable sales – a key growth metric for retailers that analyzes sales at stores open longer than a year – slipped 1% during the quarter, as did direct marketing sales.

While JoS. A. Bank did not provide second-quarter forecasts, analysts are expecting the men’s apparel retailer to report second-quarter earnings of 79 cents on sales of $254 million, which would represent a sequential increase of 33% and 21%, respectively.