Jones Apparel Group Inc., the apparel designer and wholesaler, said yestderday that comparable sales at company-owned stores fell 5 percent in the first quarter and that it was taking a cautious outlook in its full-year forecast.

The weakest segment was company-owned shoe stores, where comparable sales dropped 12.3 percent during the quarter, which ended April 7. This measures performance of stores open at least a year. Heavy promotions cleared unsold stock in the stores, the company said.

Jones, which has major operations in Bristol Township, Bucks County, said it would discontinue or sell some of its moderate product lines by the end of 2007 to boost the company's profit margins. The lines account for about $300 million a year in revenue.

First-quarter sales rose to $1.25 billion from $1.22 billion in the year-earlier period. Besides retailing at its stores, Jones Apparel is an apparel and accessories wholesaler to department stores and others. Net income was $47.8 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with $25.8 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier.

After adjustments for restructuring costs and other charges, 2007 first-quarter net income was 50 cents a share, compared with 66 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Jones cut its full-year earnings forecast to a range of $1.95 to $2.05 a share. It previously forecast earnings of about $2.40 a share.

Jones stock shed 92 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $31.44.

Contact staff writer Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or bob.fernandez@phillynews.com.