Jos. A. Bank greatly reduces quarterly loss

September 11, 1996|By Greg Schneider | Greg Schneider,SUN STAFF

Continuing what industry observers say is a remarkable turnaround, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. posted a relatively small loss for the traditionally dismal second quarter.

The Hampstead-based men's clothing company yesterday reported a net loss of $600,000 for the quarter ended Aug. 3, an improvement over the $2 million loss racked up during the same quarter a year ago.

That translates to a second-quarter loss of 8 cents a share this NTC year, compared with a 29 cent per share loss during the year-earlier period.

"I've got to tell you, I was impressed with the quarter," said analyst Kenneth M. Gassman of Davenport & Co. in Richmond, Va.

The second quarter is usually a loser for the apparel industry because it marks a lull between the livelier spring and fall fashion seasons. On top of that, Jos. A. Bank took a nonrecurring $400,000 charge during the second quarter from cost overruns in a tuxedo manufacturing contract.

Gassman noted that the company also moved the issuance of its fall catalog from July to August, depriving the second quarter of what is usually a noticeable bump in sales.

Factoring out the one-time loss and the delay of the catalog, Gassman said, "the company probably operated very close to break-even. That's a substantial turnaround from last year's second quarter."

Sales in stores open more than a year increased 5.1 percent for the second quarter, and total men's sales for the period hit $33.8 million, a 6.3 percent increase over the $31.8 million logged during that portion of 1995.

Combined with a blockbuster first quarter, the company netted a loss of only $300,000 for the first half of 1996, a huge improvement over the $6.2-million loss that darkened the first half of 1995.

Shares in Jos. A. Bank closed unchanged at $4 yesterday.

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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