Jones Apparel Group Inc., the parent of Nine West, reported a preliminary fourth-quarter profit that
could be below analysts' current expectations
. Jones expects earnings from continuing operations of 8 cents to 11 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of 4 cents.

The analysts'
average forecast is 11 cents, according to Thomson Reuters

For the year, the company expects earnings, excluding
one-time items, of $1.11 to $1.14 a share. Jones is scheduled
to report final fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb.

“While we continue to note positive signs of economic
recovery, we are maintaining a cautious and disciplined
approach to execution as the environment remains uncertain,”
Chief Executive Wesley Card said in a statement.

He said fourth-quarter results had improved from a year
earlier because of a less promotional environment during the
holiday shopping season. He said the company ended the year
with $330 million in cash on hand, significantly more than it

Including impairment and restructuring charges, Jones
expects to report a fourth-quarter loss from continuing
operations of $1.53 to $1.56 a share, and a full-year loss of
$1.02 to $1.05.

Jones, whose brands also include Enzo Angiolini and Anne
Klein, said it expected fourth-quarter and full-year results to
include a pretax, noncash charge of about $150 million for
goodwill and trademark impairment.

It also said it had closed 99 stores to date and was on
track to close a total of about 265, with the remaining
closures to occur throughout the year.

It expects to report a profit on an adjusted basis in its
retail segment for the fourth quarter.