Shares of women's apparel and accessories retailer Chico's FAS Inc. (FAS) - Get Report plunged Wednesday, after the company reported lower-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales.

Chico's FAS stock plunged 38.5% to $4.51 on Wednesday. The company's shares are down well more than 50% from their 52-week high of $10.90 hit back in May.

The Fort Meyers-based company reported net income for the quarter ended Nov. 3 of $6.5 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $16.7 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting per-share earnings of 8 cents.

Net sales, meantime, fell to $499.9 million from $532.3 million, below the FactSet consensus of $515.6 million. Same-store sales - a bellwether industry gauge for retail activity - fell 6.8% vs. the FactSet consensus of a 1.4% decline.

"...our Chico's brand did not deliver the sales we anticipated, which led to total company results that were below expectations." -- Chico's FAS CEO Shelley Broader

The company, which runs retail brands including White House Black Market and Soma, also lowered its 2018 net sales outlook to a "high single-digit" decline from a "mid single-digit" decline, and revised its same-store sales outlook to a "mid-single-digit" percentage decline from "low-to-mid single-digit" decline, the company said in a statement.

Third-quarter brand performance was mixed: "Soma again performed well and better than expectations, and White House Black Market is continuing its brand repositioning. However, our Chico's brand did not deliver the sales we anticipated, which led to total company results that were below expectations," CEO and President Shelley Broader said in the statement.

As part of its brand repositioning, the company separately announced a leadership transition for the Chico's brand, with Diane Ellis departing as Chico's brand president, effective Nov. 30. The company is also planning to adjust its spring offerings to more "classic merchandise" that resonates with its target customers, and adjusting its in-store merchandising and display, print and digital media "to feature more clean, classic silhouettes," Broader said.