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Ryan Beck Cuts Jos. A. Bank Clothiers to Market Perform

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Ryan Beck downgraded Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) to market perform, noting the company's financial performance in the first quarter.

The company recently posted 32 cents compared to 38 cents first quarter earnings per share.

Analyst Margaret Whitfield says she had forecast 45 cents EPS compared to the 46 cents consensus. The company's gross margins decreased 140 basis points to 61.4%. It noted that the percentage of fall goods sold was above last year, but margins fell below that realized on new spring merchandise and year-round core lines as these were promotional goods. She says the company is guiding for double-digit growth to resume in the second quarter, but she points out that the company will face tougher comps in the second half of fiscal year 2007 (ending January.) She cut her $2.36 fiscal year 2007 earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $2.15, her $2.87 fiscal year 2008 estimate to $2.47, and her $53 stock price target to $35.

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