You've got to give it up to the management over at Stein Mart (NASDAQ:SMRT). Feeling less than thrilled about its first-quarter performance and second-quarter expectations and correctly assuming investors would be even more disappointed, the company mentioned every possible excuse it could think of to try to justify its lackluster report. The list included cold weather in April, the shift of Easter to March, and overall lower spending trends. Nevertheless, investors wanted no part of it, causing the stock price to plummet almost 15% on the news.

With the help of an extra week in the period, the company actually posted decent earnings and sales growth. In the first quarter, Stein Mart increased earnings by 7.3% to $8.1 million, or $0.18 per share. Sales expanded 3.1% to $376.1 million, but comps decreased by 2%. And it only gets worse from there.

SG&A expenses jumped to $97.4 million, or 25.9% of sales, resulting from the lack of comps growth combined with increased expenses. The company has made significant investments in an effort to boost sales. Based on projections for the second quarter, those investments are not paying off. Stein Mart expects to earn $0.06 per share to $0.10 per share with flat to slightly positive comps growth. That would be 47% to 68% below the second quarter of last year. The extra week that benefited the first quarter will now have a negative impact on second-quarter results. Its failed investments will negatively affect SG&A expenses. Alright, I think you get the picture.

While it's a positive, the company seems to be the only party willing to purchase Stein Mart shares these days. In the first quarter it repurchased 201,500 shares of common stock at a cost of $3 million. It has also already purchased an additional 250,000 shares thus far in the current quarter. It clearly should have held off a little longer.

While competitors Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) and TJX (NYSE:TJX) have had their own share of troubles, they've been able to weather the recent difficult environment while Stein Mart continues to struggle. The company obviously has to figure out how to improve its situation. After Stein Mart's recent failed attempts to revitalize its business, it will likely take several quarters before investors can expect to see any progress from the company. Until it can take some positive steps forward, Stein Mart's not worth considering, even with its heavily discounted price.

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Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.