Jones Group returns to 1Q profit, trims sales view

Jones Group posts 1Q profit, but cold weather chills spring sales; cuts 2013 sales forecast

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Clothing and accessories maker Jones Group Inc. said Wednesday it returned to a profit in the first quarter, but cold weather had a chilling effect on sales of spring clothes. Shares fell after the company lowered its full-year sales outlook.

The New York company, which makes shoes, clothing and accessories under brand names including Nine West, Anne Klein and Stuart Weitzman, said net income for the three months ended April 6, after paying preferred dividends, totaled $500,000, or a penny per share. That compares with a loss of $1.2 million, or a penny per share, last year.

Excluding one-time items, such as asset impairment and severance and other costs related to restructuring costs, adjusted net income totaled 15 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected net income of 15 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $1 billion from $936 million last year. Analysts expected $995.4 billion.

CEO Wesley Card said the company's jeans business improved, but spring clothing was hurt by cold weather. European results were hurt by the continent's weak economy.

"We expect continued margin pressure in sportswear in the second quarter, as we clear spring merchandise in anticipation of our new and refocused product offerings for fall," he said.

During a conference call to discuss the results, Chief Financial Officer John McClain said the company now expects total revenue for the fiscal year will be in the range of $3.8 billion to $3.95 billion. In February, the company had forecast revenue between $3.9 billion and $4.1 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $3.9 billion, with estimates ranging from $3.87 billion to $3.96 billion.

For the second quarter, McClain forecast revenue to be in the range of $820 million to $850 million. Wall Street was expecting $851.9 million, with estimates ranging from $834.6 million to $889 million.

The disappointing revenue figures sent shares down in midday trading. The stock fell 44 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $13.56. That's in the middle of its 52-week range of $8.85 and $15.07, but it remains up about 22 percent since the start of the year.

Jones Group also declared a regular quarterly dividend of 5 cents, payable on May 31 to shareholders of record as of May 17.

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