Charges dropped Stein Mart Inc. to a small third-quarter loss while its adjusted profits beat analysts’ expectations.

For the three months ended Nov. 1, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based retailer registered a net loss of $1.2 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, versus net income of $28,000, or breakeven on a per-share basis, in the 2013 quarter. Stripping out costs related to store closings and its 2012 financial restatement, the company recorded a non-GAAP profit of 2 cents a diluted share, better than the 1-cent loss expected, on average, by analysts monitoring the company.

Revenues exceeded expectations, growing 4.5 percent to $303.7 million, from $290.5 million in the 2013 quarter, versus the consensus estimate of $302 million. Same-store sales improved 3.1 percent in the quarter while gross margin grew to 27.8 percent of sales from 26.8 percent a year ago. Excluding the restatement charges, the year-ago margin would have been 27.6 percent.

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The firm finished the quarter with inventories of $343.7 million, 4.3 percent above the year-ago level.

Stein Mart currently operates 268 stores, four more than a year ago. It plans to open at least 10 stores in 2015, including one in the spring. It also plans a store closing in the first half of next year.

 

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