October 12, 2017 / 3:58 PM / 10 months ago

J. Jill tumbles to record low as fashion misses hit outlook

(Reuters) - Shares of J. Jill Inc lost half their value on Thursday, as fashion misses and marketing missteps forced the women’s fashion retailer to slash its third-quarter profit forecast.

Analysts said the company’s problems were compounded by the overall slowdown in traffic to apparel stores due to unseasonably warm weather.

“We see the miss as largely explainable, and believe the company is sufficiently nimble to address the missteps in short order,” Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said, adding that the ongoing issues were expected to reflect on the company’s performance through October.

Shares of Quincy, Massachusetts-based J. Jill, which focuses on selling to women aged 40-65, sank to a record low of $4.85, well below its March IPO price of $13 after the company also forecast a drop in quarterly same-store sales.

Deutsche Bank slashed its price target on the stock by $5 to $11, while Jefferies cut its target to $13 from $16.

Five out of nine brokerages rate the stock “hold”, while the remaining four rate the stock “buy” or higher. Their median price target is $9.00.

The company went public in March amid a tough environment for apparel retailers, several of which have gone out of business in the last couple of years as they struggle to cope with changing consumer tastes and growing pressure from Amazon.com Inc and other online retailers. [nL4N1M03FN]

Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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