As Jones Apparel (NYSE:JNY) reports another disappointing quarter, it's good to keep in mind that while the market sometimes rewards patience, turnarounds are sometimes 360 degrees, rather than 180.

Excluding charges for discontinued operations and charges, the company earned $0.17 a share, nearly half the $0.39 earned a year ago. With a consensus estimate of $0.31, it's not as if analysts expected the company to have a great quarter, but Jones couldn't even meet the diminished expectations.

Management blamed fashion misses for the shortfall. But poor merchandise selection has been a problem for some time. Last year, revenue fell nearly 7% to $4.7 billion. This quarter, revenue fell again by more than 2% to $903.9 million. Same-store sales declined 8%, and management slashed prices in an effort to get rid of merchandise. The result can be seen in the gross margin, which fell to 32.1% from 36.5%.

The company announced that another suitor, Japan-based Fast Retailing Co., has come in and offered $900 million in cash for Barneys, beating the $825 million agreement with Istithmar, the investment arm of the Dubai government. While this may sound like good news, I actually think Jones would be better off holding on to the high-end retailer, which has been a bright spot for the company.

Although it mentioned a poor retail environment, other competitors aren't having the same struggles. Liz Claiborne (NYSE:LIZ), which is trying to turn around its own operations, reported improved results, with earnings excluding restructuring charges doubling to $0.26 a share. It also affirmed its earnings projections for the year.

Ann Taylor's (NYSE:ANN) June comps fell 8.4%, but it affirmed its earnings forecast for the year. Jones Apparel just slashed its earnings forecast for the year again, this time to $1.28-$1.34 a share from $1.95-$2.05. Hey, Jones, listen to Liz: Sell underperforming segments, not your profitable ones.

Investors should be careful with turnaround situations. New CEO Wesley Card took over just three weeks ago, replacing Peter Boneparth, who failed to change the fortunes of the company. At the very least, it will take time before improvement can be seen. I advise sitting on the sidelines unless there is tangible proof.

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Fool contributor Larry Rothman is happy to receive feedback, and promises to read it when not being wrestled by his three children. He doesn't have any positions in the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy never goes out of style.