Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Jonesing for another earnings beat

October 28, 2009

Check out which company Wall Street keeps underestimating.

It’s Jones Apparel. The retailer and apparel maker once again “reported a much higher-than-expected” quarterly profit. Last quarter, Reuters said the company “beat estimates handsomely.” The quarter before that it was “easily beat estimates.”

Heck, even in the fourth quarter, when almost all retailers and apparel makers were hammered by the recession and credit meltdown, the company reported a “smaller-than-expected” quarterly loss.

Aside from demonstrating that Reuters has several different ways of saying “big earnings beat,” the reports also raise this question: “Why does Wall Street keep missing the mark on Jones?”

One reason could be that the company itself still cannot quite figure out if business is up or down.

For the current quarter — which includes the all-important holiday season — it expects same-store sales to range anywhere from a drop of 2.5 percent to a rise of 2.5 percent.

So come February, you might see the words “eclipsed Wall Street Estimates” connected with Jones earnings.

Also in the basket:

Coke Enterprises higher profit tops expectations

Newell profit beats estimates, sales weak

Designer Ecko slam-dunked (N.Y. Post)

H&M eyes expansion in U.S. and Canada (WWD, subscription required)

(Photo: Jones Apparel website)

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