Back in May, retail clothier Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ:JOSB) announced that by the end of this year it aims to sew up its record of achieving a "five-year average annual compounded net income growth rate of approximately 75%, with each year increasing no less than 30%." Judging from its fiscal second-quarter earnings release, Jos. A. Bank (Joe) is right on track, with earnings coming in at exactly 75% higher than in the second quarter of 2003.

This being the midpoint of Joe's fiscal year, though, let's forgo a review of the quarterly results, and take a longer-term gander at the company's first six months. First off, the company continues to dilute its outside shareholders at a steady, but not shocking, rate: Joe posted a 3.6% year-on-year increase in the weighted average of its diluted shares outstanding. That explains why its net income for the first half grew 112% over its first-half 2003 numbers, while profit per diluted share lagged somewhat, increasing from $0.30 to $0.62, for a still impressive 107% rise.

When you consider that retailers across the country have been having a rather tough time of it this year, Joe's growth in same-stores sales impresses as well and certainly helps to explain how the company continues to post such impressive numbers. For the second quarter, Joe posted an 11.9% increase in same-store sales, as well as continued strong catalog and Internet sales (up a combined 18.3%).

It also didn't hurt this purveyor of fine business attire that America's job picture is improving. Workers across the nation are frequenting headhunters such as Korn/Ferry (NYSE:KFY) and Heidrick & Struggles (NASDAQ:HSII), staffing firmslike Kforce (NASDAQ:KFRC) and Manpower (NYSE:MAN), or surfing the Web for jobs advertised on Monster (NASDAQ:MNST) and Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) HotJobs -- then heading over to Joe to pick up a sharp suit for interview day. Considering how well Joe is doing with attracting repeat business, one could even surmise that a lot of these interviews went well, and the job seekers came back to Joe to get fitted out with new office wear.

While I still find the lack of free cash flow at Joe worrisome, it's worth noting that the company is spending a lot of money on capital expenditures to continue building out its brick-and-mortar stores. To judge from its results so far this year, the investment is paying off.

In a string of three recent articles, we examined Joe's potential to be chosen as a Motley Fool Hidden Gem. Read all about it in:

Rich Smith believes Jos. A. Bank was a classic hidden gem the first time he found it in 2001. Over the next three years of the bear market, the company proceeded to appreciate in value by five times. Are you looking for similar success stories? Consider taking a free trial subscription to our Hidden Gems newsletter right now. Or, if you're already a member, join us on the HG: Stocks That Interest You discussion board to discuss Joe's merits.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares of any company mentioned in this article.