Joe's Jeans Inc. (JOEZ)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

February 10, 2011 4:30 pm ET

Executives

Lori Nembrikow – General Counsel

Marc Crossman – President and CEO

Hamish Sandhu – CFO

Analysts

Charu Sharma – KeyBanc

David Griffith – Roth Capital Partners

Jon Evans – Edmunds White

Jason Martin [ph] – Essension [ph]

Joe Medori [ph] – Medori Propety [ph]

Michael Anthony [ph] – Justins [ph]

Matthew Fuhr – Cherry Group

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to Joe's Jeans’ fiscal 2010 fourth quarter and year-end earnings call. My name is Nalini and I will be your conference coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. However, we will be facilitating a question and answer session towards the end of today’s conference. (Operator instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today’s conference Lori Nembrikow, General Counsel for the company. Please proceed.

Lori Nembrikow

Thanks, operator and thanks to everyone for joining the call. Present on our call today to discuss our results are Marc Crossman, our President and CEO and Hamish Sandhu, our CFO.

Before we start, let me review the company’s Safe Harbor language. This call may contain forward-looking statements which are statements of the company’s or management’s intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to be materially different. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date they are made.

I also refer you to our reports that are filed with the SEC which includes our 2010 annual report on Form 10-K filed today. This report includes information that could also cause our actual results to be materially different from those contained in any projections which may be made during this conference call. By making any forward-looking statements, the company undertakes no obligation to update them for revisions or changes after today.

Finally, a copy of our earnings release and a recording of this call will be available on our website www.joesjeans.com and a telephone replay will be available for one week from today.

Now I’ll turn the call over to Marc.

Marc Crossman

Thanks, Lori and thanks to everyone for joining us today. I’ll speak about the fourth quarter results, and then I’ll turn the call over to Hamish for a discussion of our financials. Finally, we will end with a Q&A session.

In the fourth quarter, our net sales declined 7% from $25.2 million to $23.6 million. The sales decline was entirely attributable to our women’s wholesale business. The domestic women’s wholesale business, which is our largest and mature segment decreased double digits on a year-over-year basis. During the quarter, our consumer looked to new fabrics as a new catalyst for her next purchase. We did not capitalize on this trend with the right offering of cords, pontes, and super-stretch fabrics. We didn’t have enough newness in innovation of products to drive to the level sales we had last year, especially given that we were facing tough comps against last year’s successful Jean legging.

That said, we have made mid-stride adjustments to our Spring and Summer lines and we are introducing revamped fall 2011 line next at (inaudible). For example, we are launching new high rise bodies and skinny flare and wide-leg silhouettes. We are also introducing a number of newly developed fabrics into our fall line. We are injecting these innovative fabrics and fits into our fashion and replenishment style. Separately, we are excited about our new skinny micro-flare body that we will begin shipping at the end of this month. We plan to utilize print advertising and in-store marketing to support our new products initiatives going forward such as the skinny micro-flare.

In contrast, our men’s wholesale business continued to outperform our expectations. This business grew business by 44% on the year-over-year basis. The footprint of our men’s denim business continues to grow as we have taken market share from our competitors. This is evidenced by the fact that the lion’s share of the growth was driven in existing doors, the new opening of new doors. The product offering of our fall men’s collection was very strong and our core business performed at an optimal level. We continue to see sales and door growth coming from our new categories and so being tested in our major stores of spring.

Our international wholesale sales decreased by 27% on a year-over-year basis. Since the international business is primarily a women’s business, it was down commensurate with and for the same reason as our women’s domestic wholesale business. Our wholesale gross margin was 46.4% during the quarter compared to 48.4% a year ago. However, on a sequential basis, our wholesale gross margin increased almost 200 basis points from 44.5% in the third quarter, as we continued to improve sourcing for our other product classifications. It’s important to note that our denim selling gross margins remained consistent on a sequential and year-over-year basis.

Our wholesale SG&A declined $818,000 to $2.9 million on year-over-year basis. Our wholesale SG&A decline was attributable to reduced sample costs for our new product classifications, a decrease in our facilities and distribution expenses and lower commissions. Despite our cost cutting efforts, the reduced sales volume resulted in our operating income decreasing to $6.2 million from $7.7 million on a year-over-year basis. However, operating income was up over 7% on a sequential basis, even though this quarter had a lower revenue base.

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