NEW YORK — Expense control and gross margin improvement boosted Goody’s Family Clothing earnings in the fourth quarter, despite sales shortfalls.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based retailer of moderately priced apparel said Wednesday that income for the three months ended Feb. 1 was $3.9 million, or 12 cents a diluted share, reversing a loss of $7.7 million, or 24 cents, reached in the year-ago quarter. Results for the quarters in both years include pre-tax charges for property and equipment at underperforming stores of $3.5 million and $1.9 million, respectively, for 2002 and 2001. In addition, the fourth quarter of 2001 included a $1.3 million charge due to corporate restructuring.

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