CORRECT: Jones Group Swings To 1Q Loss; Profit Excluding Items Beats Expectations

Date : 04/25/2012 @ 1:08PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Saks Incorporated (SKS)
Quote : 15.99  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM
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CORRECT: Jones Group Swings To 1Q Loss; Profit Excluding Items Beats Expectations

Jones Apparel (NYSE:JNY)
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Jones Group Inc. (JNY) swung to a small fiscal first-quarter loss, but excluding costs for acquisition, restructuring and severance charges, it posted a much-better-than expected profit, aided by the earlier Easter and warmer temperatures.

Shares rose 6.2% to $13 premarket.

Jeanswear, shoes and accessories did particularly well, while traditional sportswear "remained more challenging and promotional," Chief Executive Wesley Card said.

Card also voiced some caution, saying that while generally encouraged by signs of greater consumer confidence, "the economic environment still contains mixed signals and consumer spending is unpredictable."

Jones posted a loss of $1.2 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $25.7 million, or 30 cents a share. Excluding costs for acquisitions, closing some stores and restructuring, the company posted earnings per share of 31 cents, down from 38 cents a year earlier.

Net sales slipped 2.6% to $936 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 14 cents a share on $937.3 million of sales.

To try and better position for the uncertain environment, Jones Group has made major enhancements to its fall offerings, especially its sportswear product lines, Card said. Jones makes apparel and accessories under names including Nine West, Anne Klein and Jones New York.

Jones, whose brands are sold by retailers ranging from Saks Inc. (SKS) to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has been keen to diversify into the high-end market, last year acquiring luxury shoe retailer Kurt Geiger.

The company finished the quarter with $147 million in cash and its revolving credit line undrawn. "Our approach to inventory commitments continues to be conservative," Chief Financial Officer John McClain said.

-By Karen Talley, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2196;

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