Stock Buy: Men’s Wearhouse Inc.

Tracey Ryniec
updated | Zacks.com

Men’s Wearhouse Inc. (NYSE:MW) has put together a nice string of earnings surprises, beating each of the last 4 quarters by 35.8%. But are the retailer stocks weakening here?

Men’s Wearhouse is a men’s apparel specialty retailer. It operates 1,248 stores under three brands: Men’s Wearhouse, Moores and K&G. The company carries brand name and private label suits, sport coats, and accessories. Tuxedo rentals are also available at some of the stores.

Men’s Wearhouse Posts Another Big Beat

On June 9, Men’s Wearhouse reported its fiscal first quarter 2010 results and blew by the Zacks Consensus by 85.7%. Earnings per share were 26 cents compared to the consensus of 14 cents. Last year the company made just 10 cents.

These results also blow away the company’s own guidance from March, which had been calling for a range of 12 to 16 cents.

Sales rose 2% to $473.5 million from $464.1 million in the year ago quarter. The quarter got a boost from increased sales at the Men’s Wearhouse brand, even as K&G saw a 4.9% same store sale decline, and a 1% increase in tuxedo rentals.

Inventories also declined by 2.8% to $435.4 million from $448 million.

Outlook for the Fiscal Second Quarter

Men’s Wearhouse is expecting earnings per share in the range of 75 to 78 cents for the fiscal second quarter of 2010.

It sees trends continuing in its brands including same store sales gains at Men’s Wearhouse in the low single digit range, a decrease in sales at K&G in the low to mid single digit range and flat to low single digit increase at Moores.

Tuxedo rentals are expected to increase in the low double digits.

Zacks Estimates Jump on the First Quarter Beat

Given the big first quarter surprise and the guidance range, analysts have been scrambling to respond to the company’s forecast.

The fiscal second quarter Zacks Consensus Estimate has moved up by 2 cents to 78 cents in the last 30 days, with 3 estimates moving higher in that time. This is, obviously, at the high end of the company’s range.

Men’s Wearhouse is Now a Value Stock

Like many of the retailers, Men’s Wearhouse’s stock has been on a tear off the March 2009 lows. But in late April and early May, the stock pulled back significantly, as you can see in the chart below. Recently, it has had additional weakness.

This has allowed the company to move within the parameters of a “value” stock. Its forward P/E is 14.2, which is just cheap enough to qualify for a “value” as I look at companies with forward P/Es under 15. The industry, however, is more expensive, with an average P/E of 15.2.

Its price-to-book is also in the value category at 1.1. The industry average is higher, at 2.

Using a price-to-sales ratio, Men’s Wearhouse also qualifies as a value stock. It is just 0.5. Value investors look for P/S ratios under 1.0.

The company also has a solid five year return on equity (ROE) of 14.4% and rewards shareholders with a dividend of 1.7%.

Men’s Wearhouse is a Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) stock.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor in charge of the market-beating Zacks Value Trader service.

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