NEW YORK — As speculation continues to swirl over its possible sale and breakup, The Jones Group Inc. said Wednesday that adjusted earnings per share for the third quarter beat Wall Street’s consensus estimate by 6 cents.
The company posted a 66.5 percent increase in net income for the three months ended Oct. 5, rising to $28.3 million, or 38 cents a diluted share, compared with $17 million, or 22 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were 48 cents for the quarter, versus adjusted EPS of 57 cents a year ago. That’s still 6 cents better for the current period than the consensus estimate among Wall Street analysts of 42 cents. Net sales fell 1.3 percent to $1.01 billion from $1.25 billion.
For the nine months, net income rose 6.7 percent to $25.5 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, from $23.9 million, or 31 cents, a year ago. Net sales rose 1.8 percent to $2.84 billion from $2.79 billion.
Wesley R. Card, chief executive officer, told Wall Street analysts in a conference call that the “strongest segment once again was domestic wholesale jeanswear.”
Card added that given the economic backdrop, “we’re maintaining our overall conservative approach to planning. It still remains unclear how consumers’ discretionary spending will develop in the final quarter of 2013, although economic conditions continue to be slowly improving worldwide.”
In a telephone interview, Card noted candidly that as the weather cooled in October, there was strong demand across some categories. “We’re in a strong boot cycle, as well as casual shoes. We could have a very good fourth quarter. It could shift quickly. It could shift with the weather or different macroeconomic conditions, such as the feelings people have on job security and where they stand.”
He said that denim for spring is trending toward softer colors, and “new treatments and other washes with interesting textures” have helped the company stay ahead of the competition.
Richard Dickson, president and ceo of branded businesses, said that there’s been a rebound in dresses, “particularly in Anne Klein, with graphic prints inspired by the Anne Klein archive.” Dresses in the Jones line also feature graphics, but they’re more “signature prints, consistent graphic prints refreshed season after season,” according to Dickson.
Card declined to comment on the status of a possible sale of the apparel and footwear divisions at Jones.
A report from Citigroup analyst Jenna Giannelli said, “We think it would be one of its higher-growth assets such as Nine West and Stuart Weitzman for which we think they could fetch at least $1 billion.”
Sycamore Partners is said to be tracking the footwear unit, while G-III Apparel Group is looking to acquire the apparel component. Financial sources said that G-III is out shopping for financing. Neither Sycamore, G-III nor Jones have ever commented about any possible transaction.
Shares of Jones closed at $15.35 in trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast