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Jos. A. Bank Rallies

The company reports better-than-expected earnings and guides the year higher.

Updated from 2:23 p.m. EDT

Shares of

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers

(JOSB)

moved higher Tuesday after the company said first-quarter profit more than doubled and lifted its full-year earnings guidance.

The apparel chain earned $5.34 million, or 47 cents a share, in the quarter ended May 1, compared with $2.17 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts were calling for 40 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Total sales increased 28.3% to $79.9 million, while same-store sales increased 13.6%. The retailer also said catalogue and Internet sales rose 18.7%.

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"Our new product innovations, including the wrinkle-and-stain-resistant shirts and pants and our luxurious Signature and Signature Gold products, have performed well," the company said.

Shares of Jos. A. Bank closed at $31.38, up $1.32, or 4.39%, but off their earlier highs.

In fiscal-year 2004, the company sees a profit of $23.3 million, which would compare with $16.6 million in 2003. Analysts' consensus is for $1.97 a share, which would compare with $1.47 a share in 2003. Previously, the company had guided full-year earnings to at least $21 million.

Margaret Whitfield, an analyst at Ryan Beck & Co., estimates the company's new earnings guidance comes out to $2.04 a share. The analyst raised her outlook on full-year 2004 earnings to $23.6 million, or $2.06 a share, in part because of the better-than-expected first quarter. Whitfield has an outperform rating on the company.

Jos. A. Bank said the current year's results would mark a five-year average annual compounded net income growth rate of approximately 75%.

Additionally, the Hampstead, Md.-based company expects to open 55 to 65 new stores in the current year; it currently has 219 new stores.

Ryan Beck or one of its affiliates hold shares of the company, and Ryan Beck has an investment banking relationship with Jos. A. Bank.