Aéropostale Inc. managed to meet third-quarter consensus estimates as chief executive officer Julian R. Geiger acknowledged that the steps taken since his return are just “small, but measurable steps in the right direction.”

For the quarter ended Nov. 1, the net loss widened to $52.3 million, or 66 cents a diluted share, from a loss of $25.6 million or 33 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the net loss was $35.2 million, or 45 cents. Sales fell 12 percent to $452.9 million from $514.6 million as comps dropped 11 percent. Wall Street was expecting an adjusted earnings per share of 45 cents on sales of $444.7 million.

Geiger said, “During my first 100 days back at Aéropostale, I have developed and begun executing my vision of, and game plan for, positioning and returning the company to profitability.” He noted that some of the small steps undertaken have led to third-quarter results that were in line with company guidance, and noted that inventories were “well-controlled, positioning us appropriately as we progress through the fourth quarter.”
The company expects fourth-quarter operating losses in the range of $28 million to $34 million, or a diluted EPS loss of 37 cent to 44 cents.

Shares of Aéropostale closed up 3.9 percent to $3.19, but fell 5 percent to $3.03 in after-market trading. The company posted third-quarter results after the markets closed.

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