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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of fashionista The Jones Group (NYSE: JNY ) tanked as much as 24% today as investors fled the stock following a worse-than-expected third-quarter earnings report.
So What: Jones has been struggling in recent years under the weight of strapped customers and hefty goodwill writedowns. While the company appears to be getting its footing back to some extent -- sales were up 19% from the prior year -- rising costs dragged down margins across the board. Adjusting for one-time costs such as retail store closures and acquisitions, the company reported $0.54 in per-share earnings, well short of analysts' $0.62 expectation.
Now What: Just yesterday we watched shares of Coach (NYSE: COH ) head for the rafters after it reported particularly strong third-quarter results, so it would seem that the fashion consumer may be coming out of hibernation. At this point, investors are showing almost no confidence in Jones Group, as shares currently change hands at less than 10 times trailing earnings. That's certainly a tempting price, but management still needs to show that it's back on a sustainable growth path, and that means both on the top and bottom line.
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