The Mahwah, New Jersey-based company posted adjusted earnings of 6 cents a share, compared with 11 cents a year ago, but beat analysts' estimates of 3 cents.
Sales for the quarter totaled $1.59 billion, beating Wall Street's expectations of $1.56 billion, and roughly in line with the year-ago figure.
For its second fiscal quarter, Ascena Retail Group forecasts an adjusted loss in the range of 25 cents to 15 cents a share and revenue in the range of $1.67 billion and $1.70 billion. Comparable sales are expected to increase 2% to 4%.
For its fiscal 2019, Ascena forecast adjusted earnings between break-even and 10 cents a share.
The company operates through four segments: Premium Fashion, Value Fashion, Plus Fashion, and Kids Fashion. Its principal brands comprise Ann Taylor, LOFT, maurices, dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Catherines, and Justice brands.
"Our first-quarter results represent another step forward in our journey to transform Ascena into a more agile, profitable company," Chairman and CEO David Jaffe said in a statement. "We delivered a 3% comparable sales increase, driven by strength at our Premium and Kids segments. Adjusted earnings per share of 6 cents came in at the top of our guide, driven by better than expected top-line growth."