Citing "softening US sales," Men's Wearhouse Wednesday (11 April) said its first-quarter earnings will fall towards the lower end of its forecast.

One day after closing the purchase of After Hours from Federated Department Stores, the Houston, Texas-based men's wear and formalwear retailer said that its diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of the retail year will land "at the lower end" of its initial guidance of US$0.63 to $0.67.

Analysts had expected earnings of $0.66 per diluted share on sales of $471.7m during the quarter.

Neill Davis, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Men's Wearhouse, based the estimate on a preliminary review of its results for February and March.

Men's Wearhouse didn't disclose specific operating results for the two months and has discontinued issuing monthly sales results. It is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on 22 May.

Shares of Men's Wearhouse fell $0.35, or 0.7%, to close Wednesday's New York Stock Exchange session at $46.83 prior to the release of the revised guidance and, at one point in after-hours trading, tumbled more than 6%.
By Arnold J Karr.