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What: Shares of New York & Company (NYSE:NWY) fell as much as 18% today after its third-quarter earnings report missed the mark.

So what: Sales at the fashion retailer declined 0.8%, to $217.6 million, though same-store sales, which includes eCommerce, improved 3%. The company's net loss per share improved from $0.06 a year ago to $0.05, but that still missed estimates by $0.01. CEO Gregory Scott said, "We experienced softer traffic patterns than planned in the quarter." However, he did note a solid start to the holiday as New York & Company saw mid-single-digit improvement in comparable sales. Full-year revenue guidance of $287.4 million was in-line with estimates, though its EPS projection of $0.05-$0.10 was below the analyst consensus at $0.15.

Now what: Apparel retailers have been getting killed this week between a slew of poor earnings reports and underwhelming Black Friday sales. It's difficult to say what's driving this trend other than general economic weakness, but New York & Company seems unable to break away from the broad industry weakness. Given that status, it seems hard to get behind the stock until its top and bottom lines are moving in the right direction.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.