Men's Wearhouse Forecast Alterations Do Not Suit Investors

Men’s Wearhouse Inc. (NYSE: MW) saw an incredibly negative reaction from investors after it provided preliminary sales results for its fiscal third quarter, as well as fourth-quarter estimates. These results are not guaranteed, but we can assume by the date they will not have changed much.

Then again, this might be expected with the stock steadily declining since June, with weaker summer and fall sales.

The company now expects earnings per share (EPS) to be in the range of $0.46 to $0.51 for the third quarter, down from its previous expectation of $0.87. The consensus estimate for the third quarter was EPS of $0.99.

Much of this heartache was due to a significant sales weakness at the Jos. A. Bank segment; comparable sales decreased by 14.6%, far below earlier expectations. This decrease primarily was driven by a decline in traffic as the company began the transition away from the “Buy-One-Get-Three” promotional events.

However, things are only looking worse for Jos. A. Banks as fourth-quarter comparable sales are expected to decrease between 20% to 25% as a result of declining traffic.

Separately, third-quarter comparable sales increased 5.3% at Men’s Wearhouse with clothing comps of 7.2% driven by higher transactions per store and tuxedo comps of 0.7%. K&G comparable sales for the quarter increased 3.7%, driven by higher transactions per store. Moores comparable sales decreased 5.4%, primarily driven by weakening macro-economic conditions in Canada.

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With the updated outlook, Men’s Wearhouse now believes EPS for fiscal 2015 will be between $1.75 and $2.00, versus the previous guidance of $2.70 to $2.90 for EPS. The consensus EPS estimate for the 2015 fiscal year calls for $2.78.

Doug Ewert, CEO of Men’s Wearhouse, said:

We are obviously disappointed by the third quarter results at Jos. A. Bank. Toward the end of the quarter, we reduced the number of Buy-One-Get-Two Free and Buy-One-Get-Three Free days in anticipation of our final Buy-One-Get-Three Free event. While we expected top-line volatility, as we previously stated, we did not anticipate that the impact from the traffic decline would occur to this degree, primarily because the prior year comparisons got progressively easier as the quarter progressed. We also believed the timing of the final Buy-One-Get-Three Free event in October would do more to offset earlier traffic declines than it did.

Shares of Men’s Wearhouse traded down 44.4% to $22.29 late Friday morning, after hitting a multiyear low, dating back to 2010, of $21.44. The consensus analyst price target is $56.60, and the 52-week trading range is $23.00 to $66.18.

As of Thursday’s close, Men’s Wearhouse has underperformed the market in 2015, with the stock down 8%, and down 10% in the past 52 weeks.

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