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What: Shares of Express (NYSE:EXPR) popped 12% today after the apparel retailer's quarterly results and guidance topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has been crushed over the past few months on concerns over declining sales, but today's third-quarter beat -- EPS of $0.20 versus the consensus $0.17 -- coupled with better-than-expected guidance for the full year is triggering hopes of a turnaround. While earnings and same-store sales fell during the quarter, the rate at which they are doing so seems to be slowing, suggesting that management's recent initiatives -- rebalanced sweater assortment, introduction of lower price points in key categories, and clearer promotional strategies for customers -- are starting to gain traction.

Now what: Management now sees full-year adjusted EPS of $1.47-$1.53, down from a prior forecast of $1.69-$1.79, but well ahead of Wall Street's view of $1.40. "[W]e remain cautious on the overall performance of the fourth quarter given that the majority of the holiday season lies ahead," Chairman and CEO Michael Weiss said. "We remain confident in, and committed to, our strategies and four pillars of growth, which we believe position us for improved results over the long term." With the stock still sporting a cheapish forward P/E of 9, investors might even have some room left to buy into that bullishness.

Interested in more info on Express? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.