Men's Wearhouse is down 45%

Men’s Wearhouse shares are getting trashed on Friday, down by as much as 45% morning trading.

On Thursday evening, the men’s clothing retailer announced with its preliminary third-quarter results that the ending of its “buy-one, get-three-free” promotion last month was hurting foot traffic more than anticipated.

And investors understand that people like free things.

Men’s Wearhouse said comparable store sales — at locations open for at least one year — fell 14.6% in the third quarter. That was far below analysts’ estimates.

The retailer also lowered its forecast for third-quarter earnings to a range of $US0.46 to $US0.51 from $US0.87.

In a note to clients on Friday, Citi credit analysts said the company’s bond prices fell, as they became less attractive.

They wrote, “Typically when a retailer sees three sequential quarters of deteriorating comps (of this magnitude, and unexpectedly), the road ahead will be long, as changes to brand, promotional strategy and identity take quarters if not more to implement.”

“At this pace we wouldn’t expect to see better or encouraging results until 2Q or 3Q of next year, when the company comps out of this transitional period, stabilizes the top line and sees the benefit of margin improvement.”

The company’s shares are down 50% year-to-date. Here’s a chart showing Friday’s drop:

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