Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. (NASDAQ: JOSB) has been a controversial stock for years and years. The mens apparel retailer has been targeted by short sellers for years and years as many investors believe that their margins cannot hold up through time based upon the endless sales specials they run over and over. If today’s earnings reaction is any indicator, some clouds may be forming.
The company discussed a drop in customer visits along with unfavorable weather trends hurting sales for the current quarter. The company also discussed declines in both comparable store sales and direct marketing sales for the first eight weeks of the quarter. Sales of outerwear and cold weather merchandise were soft due to a winter season that was one of the warmest on record.
If you just looked at the numbers, the company seemed to do well as income for 2011 rose to $97.5 million, or $3.49 in earnings per share from a previous year’s earnings of $85.8 million, or $3.08 per share. Its sales were even up 14% to $979.9 million. The report was in-line with earnings estimates but a tad soft on sales.
NASDAQ lists the short interest as of March 15 settlement as being 4.02 million shares. This is over 11.5 days worth of average trading volume. The short interest has come down over the last year and the peak was over 5.5 million shares last summer.
Shares are down almost 8% at $50.15 and the 52-week trading range is $40.46 to $57.14. The consensus analyst target from Thomson Reuters is currently listed as $59.00 per share.
JON C. OGG