New York & Co.

New York & Co. saw continued improvement on the sales line and narrowed losses more than projected for the third quarter, a showing that investors rewarded with a 15 percent jump in the retailer’s stock in after-hours trading today.

Net losses narrowed to $5.3 million, or 8 cents a share, from $9.7 million, or 15 cents. Analysts were looking for slightly steeper losses of 11 cents a share and investors pushed the stock up 32 cents to $2.45.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales for the quarter increased by 180 basis points versus a year earlier, due to reduced product costs, decreased buying expenses and improved leverage of fixed costs.

Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose 4.5 percent to $219.8 million from $210.3 million.

“Our performance highlights the increased connection we are creating with our target consumers as we deliver excitement in fashion, with celebrity brands and great value,” said Gregory Scott, chief executive officer. “This, in addition to increased sales productivity as we optimize our real estate with new openings and outlet conversions and expand our omnichannel capabilities with full ship from store capabilities, drove a 4.9 percent increase in comparable-store sales in the quarter.”

For the fourth quarter, the company is looking for comp sales to rise in the low-single-digit range while gross margins expand by 50 to 150 basis points.

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