Consumer Stocks Climbing Off Session Lows; Men's Warehouse, Jos. A Bank Edging Higher, Agree to Merger Talks


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Consumer stocks were off their worst levels of the session with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 slipping about 0.6%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were about down about 1.1%.

In company news, shares of Men's Wearhouse ( MW ) and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers ( JOSB ) were narrowly higher Monday in late trade after MW today said the men's apparel retailers have agreed to exchange certain confidential information and to work on a good faith effort to evaluate a potential business combination.

The move follows MW this weekend receiving a draft merger agreement from JOSB, which last week again rejected MW's latest buyout offer of $63.50 a share. But in its statement today, MW said it was prepared to increase its offer price to $65 per share "if Jos. A Bank can demonstrate or Men's Wearhouse can discover additional value through discussion or limited due diligence."

MW currently has nearly twice the 602 stores of JOSB, which claims to serve a higher-spending, more mature customer base than its larger rival. MW sales through the first nine month of 2013 were up 1.7% over the prior year at $1.91 billion while JOSB recorded 2.7% sales growth during the first three quarters of 2013 to $694.5 million in total revenue.

In other sector news,

(+) SQBG, Canaccord Genuity begins coverage with a Buy Rating and a $9 per share price target, cites "Treasure Trove of Brands."

(-) WILC, Controlling shareholders Zwi and Joseph Williger disclose plans to sell their entire 58% stake in the food distributor to Israeli conglomerate Emblaze Ltd., which is seeking to acquire 5% of WILC shares through a special tender offer.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: MW , JOSB

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