Jos. A. Bank's stock hit $17.36 in late November after the initial sell-off that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the AIG(AIG - commentary - Trade Now) bailout. After a bounce back, the stock slumped in tandem with the market to $20 in March 2009.
The fear among investors was that there would be a sharp drop-off in Jos. A. Bank's sales. But it never happened. Despite the slowdown in the broader economy, Bank's revenues have kept growing, from $600 million in 2008 to $695 million in 2009 to $770 million this year. The company did see a slowdown in its October 2009 quarter, but it quickly rebounded in the January 2010 quarter.
The company has no debt, unlike its primary competitor, Men's Warehouse (MW - commentary - Trade Now). It is run conservatively. It was never in danger of closing down back in 2009. Investors just got carried away with themselves.
However, the great run the stock has been on since those lows is equally excessive. JOSB has outperformed MW by about 19% over the past year (up 61% versus a rise of 42%, respectively). Since the boom times of 2007, the outperformance is even more dramatic. From May 4, 2007 to today, Jos. A. Bank's stock is up more than 63%, while Men's Warehouse is down 40% and the Dow has shed 15%.