Express shares were down more than 9% to $4.58 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange after ending the trading day Tuesday at $5.04.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.09 million, or 2 cents a share, compared to earnings of $27.4 million, or 35 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier period.
Excluding costs related to the departure of former CEO David Kornberg, who left the company at the end of January, and a non-cash impairment charge related to an equity investment, the company said it earned 19 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of 15 cents a share.
Fourth-quarter comparable sales decreased 6%, while net sales decreased 10% to $628.4 million from $699.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth-quarter 2017 net sales benefited from an extra week, which was worth $26 million.
"Despite our fourth-quarter results being in line with the guidance we provided on November 29, our overall performance in the period was disappointing," interim CEO Matthew Moellering said in a statement, adding that the company expects results "to remain challenging in the near-term.
"Express is a resilient and relevant brand and we continue to believe strongly in its long-term opportunity. Our financial position remains strong with $172 million in cash and cash equivalents and no long-term debt," the CEO said.
Separately, the company said it repurchased $105 million of its shares in its existing $150 million share repurchase program.