Jos. A. Bank reports slight increase in sales

June 02, 1994|By Jay Hancock | Jay Hancock,Sun Staff Writer

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., the Hampstead suit and sportcoat seller that issued public stock last month, said yesterday that new stores helped boost operating earnings in its latest quarter but that revenue growth in older stores was sluggish.

Sales in stores open for at least a year, considered a key measure of retail success, increased by just 2 percent during the three months ended April 30, Bank said. That was a marked slowdown from the healthy, 7.4 percent same-store sales growth for the fiscal year ending Jan. 29.

Bank officials blamed reluctant consumers and bad weather in the Northeast.

"I think everyone's a little cautious about where they're spending their money," said Jacob Reinhart, Bank's chief financial officer. In light of that, he said, "our 2 percent increase is real respectable."

The company's operating income, which doesn't count interest expense and store opening costs, increased 17 percent, to $2.41 million, for the quarter. Net profits rose to $981,000, up from $922,000 for the same period last year, not counting a one-time accounting change that boosted results last year.

Sales were up by 19 percent, to $43.1 million. Most of that increase was propelled by new stores. Bank operates 61 full-line stores now and intends to double that by 1997, using the proceeds of its public stock sale.

Analysts who follow Bank declined to comment on the results, citing the Securities and Exchange Commission "silent period" requirement immediately before and after a public offering.

But Wall Street apparently was disappointed in the quarter. Bank's stock fell by 50 cents a share, to $8.75. The stock started trading at $10 on May 3, on the Nasdaq system.

The company has had mixed results since April.

"May wasn't quite up to what we thought it would be," Mr. Reinhart said. But "June is starting out of the chute exceeding what we thought it would be."

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. .. ..Ticker. .. ..Yesterday's

... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Symbol. .. .. Cls. .Chg.

... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..JOSB .. .. .. 8 3/4 .. .. - 1/2

Period ended

April 30. .. ..1st qtr. .. ..Year ago .. .. .. ..Chg.

Revenue.. .. ..$43,100. .. .. $36,100 .. .. ..+19.4%

Net Income.. .. ..$981. .. .. ..$922* .. .. .. +6.4%

Primary EPS. .. .$0.20. .. .. .$0.19* .. .. .. +5.3%

* Excludes a one-time addition to earnings due to accounting change.

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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