Thoughts on Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (JOSB) Valuation

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Jos. A Bank Valuation

Starting off with some basic company highs and lows to give you an overview to work with. Jotting down this information is like stretching and warming up before you begin an intense workout.

Highlights

  • FCF positive retailer since 2004
  • Has increased shareholders equity every year for more than 10 years
  • No debt
  • No intangibles or goodwill on the balance sheet
  • Cash adjusted PE is 10
  • No financial risk
  • TTM Piotroski score of 8

Lowlights

  • Drop in ROE and CROIC from the highs of 20% in 2007 to 13% TTM
  • Drop in ROE and CROIC resulting from margin decrease
  • Cash conversion cycle of 260 days is more than twice the length of competitor Men’s Warehouse
  • Recent inventory mix issues caused big miss in earnings
  • Company is known for ridiculously big sales all the time

These highlights and lowlights give you a good idea about the company. Nothing fancy, but it includes points from all three financial statements.

The Valuation Has Changed and Here’s Why

On June 21, the company released a press release that it is looking to acquire companies.

I interpret this as a company slowing down. Whatever the company has achieved until June 21, it’s not as important because this new piece of information changes the perspective of the valuation and investment.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB)Until 2013 results came in, you could expect Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB) to grow at 10-15%. And why not? It has a century of experience and decades of consistent and trust worthy performance. It’s an elite retailer.

However, there is a big difference between a retailer like Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB) acquiring companies and Google making acquisitions. Google acquires companies throughout the year, not for growth, but to acquire intellectual property, talent, eliminate potential competitors and improve inefficiencies. It doesn’t even matter if the business is different because Google can make it mingle or they cut it off.

I can’t say the same for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB).

They sell suits and mens attire and that’s all they have ever done. The management does not have experience with acquisitions and to bring in a whole new brand or retail strategy could seriously do damage to the company.

The only benefit I can see is the quick, short-term fix in EPS that an acquisition will provide.

Jos. A Bank Valuation Ranges

If I assumed that Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB) would continue doing what it has always done, then I’m confident that the fair value is in the $40 – $45 range.

But things have turned in a different direction. More competition from other mid tier stores like Macy’s and slowing sales for both retail stores and the internet requires an adjustment to the expectations.

New stores will open, but with retail, new stores always have lower sales. As it matures, then sales increases.

While FCF is positive, it has fallen from the highs of $106m in 2011 to $84.5m in 2013. That’s a 20% drop.

What if FCF is zero going forward? How much will Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB) be worth?

  • DCF with 0% growth is $28
  • Tangible book value is $24
  • NCAV is $19
  • Current price is $41

That’s good downside protection on the stock and it provides a base value to work with.

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