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Sector Update: Consumer

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 11/15/2013 1:10:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: JOSB;MW

Consumer stocks are slightly lower in afternoon trading, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 falling 0.2%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 are down about 0.1%.

In company news, Jos. A. Bank ( JOSB ) dropped its hostile bid for rival Men's Wearhouse ( MW ), prompting MW's largest individual shareholder to launch a proxy fight to oust the current MW board and force a deal.

Eminence Capital, which owns about 9.8% of MW's stock, this morning proposed changing the company's bylaws to allow shareholders to remove directors without cause, filing a preliminary solicitation statement with market regulators. It also is seeking a special meeting of MW shareholders to vote on the proposed bylaw changes to remove sitting directors before the company's next annual meeting.

Under Texas law, a special meeting can be called with the support of at least 10% of a company's shareholders.

JOSB terminated its $48 per share cash buyout offer and said it would now consider other strategic options, citing the refusal of the MW board to discuss a possible deal. But it left the door ajar for a possible acquisition, stating it would "immediately consider whether a new proposal ... is warranted," should the MW board change its stance on its offer.

JOSB last traded 0.7% higher at $50.67 apiece, reversing a steep pre-market decline, while MW is up 0.8% at $46.47 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) TTS, (+1.7%) Refutes allegations it needs to restate past financial results, stating they are accurate and adding its business practices are appropriate. Also affirms in-line guidance for $227 mln to $237 mln in FY13 revenue. Street is at $231.83 mln.

(-) SUMR, (-22.6%) Q3 net loss of $0.07 improves on 3.63 per share loss last year but still trails analyst estimates expecting $0.02 per share profit. Revenue declines 21.1% year over year to $50.5 mln, missing by $7.57 mln. Announces more job cuts.