By  on May 2, 2007

NEW YORK — Although Jones Apparel Group on Wednesday posted a substantial first-quarter profit, shares fell in early morning trading as results missed Wall Street’s expectations and the company cut full year estimates.

Shares shed 2.7 percent in the morning trading session to $31.48.

The company said net income for the three months ended April 7 rose 85.3 percent to $47.8 million, or 44 cents a diluted share, from $25.8 million, or 22 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting 60 cents a share. Revenues rose 2.7 percent to $1.25 billion from $1.22 billion.

Based on first-quarter results, the company took a cautious view for the remainder of the year and lowered 2007 guidance to between $1.95 and $2.05 a share. The original estimate was a 10 percent gain on 2006 earnings of $2.19 a share, or earnings per share of $2.41.

“Our continued strategic operational reviews and efforts to improve profitability, and the continued trend of our moderate customers towards differentiated product offerings, has led us to make the strategic decision to exit or sell some of our moderate product lines by year end 2007,” said Peter Boneparth, president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.

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