Shares of Edina-Minn.-based Regis Corp (NYSE: RGS) were rising in early Tuesday trading, following a fiscal Q1 2014 earnings report that showed the company beating analyst expectations on both sales and earnings.

Sales at the hair salon operator declined 7% in comparison to last year's fiscal first quarter, falling to $468.6 million. Regardless, this number was ahead of the $461.6 million in revenue that analysts had been expecting. More significantly, while Regis reported a GAAP loss of approximately $0.1 million, this amounted to near breakeven results of $0.00 per share -- significantly better than the $0.05-per-share loss than Wall Street had expected.

Putting the results in context, Regis CEO Dan Hanrahan noted in a statement that during the first quarter, the company's primary objective was "stabilizing" the company, even at the cost of accepting a negative impact on sales and earnings in the near term. The company's results suggest that stabilization has been achieved, at least as regards avoiding losing (a lot of) money.

Going forward, the company's challenge will be to build on certain "pockets of revenue improvement" that Hanrahan identified as beginning to appear in the company, to continue its efforts "to control expenses," and to return revenues to a growth trend.

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