Shares of J. Crew Group, Inc. (NYSE: JCG) are drowning in after-hours trading. The apparel retailer posted over 20% gains to $0.48 EPS on a 15% rise in revenues to $340.6 million. First Call had estimates at $0.47 EPS and $334.6 revenues. Unfortunately, its guidance is less than good.
It expects Q2 EPS on a range of $0.31 to $0.33 and for fiscal 2008 it sees an EPS range of $1.70 to $1.75. First Call has estimates at $0.40 EPS next quarter and $1.86 for the year. It previously offered a range of $1.85 to $1.87.
The new lower revised expectations put comparable store sales as "flat to low single-digits." It sees direct sales growth in the high single-digits and net square footage expansion of about 11%.
While the stock was still in the middle of its 52-week trading range, shares were up considerably from the March lows around $40.00. It looks like that may be the new resistance on the chart rater than support. This was not expected, and its forward earnings multiple is still nowhere near "cheap" levels that would force investors to feel they have to own the stock.
J. Crew stock was down 1.5% at $46.91 in regular trading, and shares are down almost 17% at $39.00 in after-hours trading. Its 52-week trading range is $33.69 to $57.17.
Jon C. Ogg
May 29, 2008