Jos A Bank falls out of fashion with investors

Shares are plunging after the company surprised Wall Street with a Friday evening profit warning.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 28, 2013 2:17PM
Image: Businessman adjusting necktie -- Tom Merton, OJO Images, Getty ImagesUpscale clothing retailer Jos A Bank (JOSB) must have missed the memo advising companies that releasing bad news late on a Friday was as out of style as a leisure suit.

Shares of the Hempstead, Md., company were tanking Monday after it stunned investors Friday with a profit warning. Net income for the fiscal year ending Feb. 2 will fall about 20%, the company said.

Shares of the 106-year-old company saw their biggest decline in more than four years, trading down nearly 18% at midday.

Wall Street, which had expected earnings to increase, wasn't too pleased with Jos A Bank's rationale for its financial woes, which included everything from unusually warm weather to Superstorm Sandy to uncertainties created by the presidential election and the fiscal cliff. 

The timing of what Business Insider dubbed "The Mother Of All Friday Night News Dump Earnings Warnings" only made matters worse.

CNBC's Herb Greenberg wondered Monday why the retailer, which has more than 600 locations, waited until 8:05 p.m. Friday night to disclose problems that it knew about since November.

"From an excuses standpoint, this takes the cake," he said.

Worries about Jos A Bank were pushing shares down of its rivals Men's Warehouse (MW) and Casual Male Retail (DXLG). Investors have long wondered how Jos A Bank could afford such generous deals as giving consumers seven free suits in exchange for buying one at regular price. That question may not be answered anytime soon.
 A phone call to CFO David Ullman wasn't immediately returned.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr

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