Investors were ready for a more bullish take on Tailored Brands Inc.
Shares of the men’s wear retailer shot up 10.5 percent to $34.90 in midday trading Monday after Jefferies analyst Randal Konik upgraded his stance on the stock to “buy” from “hold,” seeing potential in both the company’s custom suit business and a Jos. A. Bank revival.
The boost put the company’s market capitalization at $1.75 billion — just below the $1.8 billion the company then known as Men’s Wearhouse paid for Jos. A. Bank four years ago. But the increase underscores a marked change in sentiment and the stock is now at a level not seen since late 2015 as the acquisition weighed the company down with a worrying debt load.
“Tailored Brands is on the path toward sustainable fundamental improvement, while legacy balance sheet issues are now behind the company,” Konik said. “We see the custom clothing opportunity as significant, while a Jos. A. Bank recovery toward prior productivity levels is another source of upside potential.”
The analyst said the company can post low-single digit or better comparable sale increase given a bigger custom business, revamped marketing, better productivity at Jos. A. Bank, a stronger economy, an improving industry backdrop and new men’s wear trends.
On the custom side of the equation, Konik estimated that made-to-order looks represent about 10 percent of Tailored’s suit sales, but noted that moving that penetration to 50 percent, or in line with the retailer’s top locations, would add more than $200 million to the top line.
“Tailored Brands is actively pushing this category, with expansion of custom shops-in-shop, dedicated marketing and a retooled commission structure,” he said. “[The retailer’s] large store network and sourcing capabilities offer a competitive advantage in scaling this business profitably.”
Konik also said the Jos. A. Banks recovery had not been baked into the stock and was “major potential source of upside.” He said the chain’s sales per square foot were only 75 as corporate sibling Men’s Wearhouse and still well below the roughly $375 logged when the chain was acquired.