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Why Fifth & Pacific Shares Jumped

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What: Shares of clothing retailer Fifth & Pacific (NYSE: KATE  ) were looking freshly pressed today, jumping as much as 12% after the company issued 2013 guidance.

So what: Oddly enough, the update was not without its disappointments. The retailer formerly known as Liz Claiborne said same-store sales at its Juicy Couture shops were down 2% in the fourth quarter, and EBTIDA guidance of $120 million to $150 million in 2013 was below expectations of $154 million. But there was good news. Comps at its Kate Spade stores jumped 27% in the latest quarter, and CEO William McComb promised fixes for Juicy Couture in late 2013 and 2014, saying merchandising and "other issues" had affected the brand's performance last year.

Now what: Today's jump is a bit puzzling, as shares were actually trading down in pre-market trading. Kate Spade appears to be a continuing engine of growth based on management's expectations of comps in the low teens for 2013, but the company, which also owns Lucky Brand, seems to be a ways away from profitability. Analysts project EPS of $0.20 for 2013, but the retailer could easily miss that, as I think the problems with Juicy Couture are outside its control.

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