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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: MW , JOSB

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