Zale Corp. Returns to Profitability for Year

Narrower fourth-quarter losses get jeweler back into the black.

Zale Corp. narrowed fourth-quarter losses significantly, pulling itself back into the black for its fiscal year.

Quarterly losses shrunk to $8 million, or 25 cents a share, from $19.7 million, or 61 cents, a year earlier. Losses came in 8 cents better than the 33 cents analysts projected, and the jeweler’s stock shot ahead 29.8 percent to $11.63 in trading on Wall Street Wednesday.

Sales for the three months ended July 31 rose 2.5 percent to $417.1 million from $407 million as comparable sales increased 5.6 percent.

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For the full year, Zale managed a profit of $10 million, up from a deficit of $27.3 million a year earlier.

“We intend to build on this momentum as we focus on driving profitable top-line growth and long-term shareholder value,” said Theo Killion, chief executive officer.