Jos. A. Bank Jumps as Shareholder BeaconLight Seeks Buybacks
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. (JOSB), the century-old retailer of men’s apparel, rose the most in more than 11 months after shareholder BeaconLight Capital LLC called the company undervalued and urged share repurchases.
The stock climbed 12 percent to $45.33 at the close in New York, for the biggest one-day gain since Aug. 29, 2012. The Hampstead, Maryland-based company’s shares have gained 6.5 percent this year, compared with a 19 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
BeaconLight, which owns about 300,000 shares, or 1.1 percent of the company’s stock and options outstanding, urged the retailer to end the “hoarding” of cash by repurchasing shares, in a letter to today. The company should also terminate a consulting agreement with Robert Wildrick, the company’s non-executive chairman, according to the missive.
“We have received a lot of shareholder response, all of which is supportive,” Ed Bosek, a managing member of New York-based hedge fund BeaconLight, said in a phone interview. “I think there’s a lot of frustrated shareholders who are afraid to own the stock in larger size.”
Jos. A. Bank had about $377 million in cash at the end of the fiscal year ended January 2013, according to the letter. The retailer hasn’t yet responded to the letter, Bosek said.
David Ullman, Jos. A. Bank’s chief financial officer, didn’t immediately respond to a message requesting comment.
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