By and  on July 27, 2011

NEW YORK — Shares of The Jones Group Inc. rose 16.3 percentWednesday, to close at $12.91, as second-quarter earnings fell less thanexpected and the company took a more upbeat view about prices andsupply for the future.

In a conference call with Wall Streetanalysts, Wesley Card, chief executive officer, alluded to the drop inthe company’s second-quarter gross margin, which fell to 36.4 percent ofsales from 36.9 percent a year ago. “The margin decline results fromthe impact of higher product costs and higher retail promotional levelswhich began in the second half of last year and is an industry-widesituation,” he said. “We now have a strong handle on the cost situation.And in fact we see some bright spots in the future with respect toproduct costs as certain raw material costs are coming down and factorycapacity issues are softening considerably.”

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