Jones Group 4Q loss widens but revenue grows

Jones Group 4Q loss widens but revenue up 9 pct as more shoes, jeans and accessories sold

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jones Group Inc., a maker of shoes, clothing, jeans, jewelry and handbags, said Wednesday that marking down the value of some assets widened its fourth-quarter loss.

But stripping out such one-time items, the company said it got a boost from sales of jeans, shoes and accessories to U.S. department stores. Still, during the crucial holiday shopping season its own retail outlets and its sportswear business "remained challenging and promotional," said CEO Wesley Card.

Jones Group, which is based in New York, makes products for brands including Nine West, Anne Klein, Stuart Weitzman, Easy Spirit and Joneswear.

Its loss for the three months through Dec. 31 came to $80.3 million, or $1.06 per share. That compares with a loss of $21.1 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

Removing charges for declining asset values, costs of recent acquisitions and restructuring, Jones said it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents per share, up from 10 cents per share the year before.

That's double what analysts were expecting, according to a poll by FactSet.

Revenue increased 9 percent, to $971.9 million from $893.6 million — the first time the company's revenue has grown since the quarter ended in December 2011.

Wall Street expected smaller revenue growth, to $952.4 million.

For the year, Jones Group lost $56.1 million, or 72 cents per share. That compares with a profit of $50.7 million, or 61 cents per share, in 2011. Annual revenue edged up to $3.8 billion from $3.79 billion.

Shares rose 12 cents, or 1 percent, to $12.18 in premarket trading. The stock has gained 22 percent over the past 12 months.

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