Signet Jewelers  (SIG) - Get Report beat Wall Street's third-quarter expectations Thursday, but shares sank as much as 23% before partly recovering. The stock fell to as low as $38.42 -- down 23.3% from Wednesday's close -- but partly rebounded to finish at $41, down 18.1% on the day.

The jewelry retailer posted a quarterly loss of $29.9 million, or $1.06 per share, down from the year ago earnings of 15 cents per share, but still beat Wall Street's expectation of a loss of $1.08. Total sales were up 3% from a year ago to $1.19 billion.

Same store sales increased 1.6% over a year ago, while North American same store sales were up 2.1%

International same-store sales decreased 3.1%, Signet said, due to unfavorable traffic trends and a difficult consumer environment. Higher sales in prestige watches were offset by lower sales in diamond jewelry and fashion watches.

Looking ahead, Signet said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to range from $4.35 to $4.59 earnings and total sales of $2.17 billion to $2.22 billion.

The company expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.15 to $4.40 per share, compared with earlier guidance of $4.05 to $4.40 per share. Signet said it expects full year revenue to range from $6.26 billion to $6.31 billion, compared with prior guidance of $6.2 billion to $6.3 billion.

"As we enter the holiday season, amid a highly competitive market and with key selling weeks ahead, we are keenly focused on delivering on our holiday plans and implementing the beginning stages of our transformation initiatives in our stores and on our websites," CEO Virginia Drosos said in a statement.

Signet's Sterling Jewelers division operates stores in malls and off-mall locations primarily under the Kay Jewelers, Kay Jewelers Outlet, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Jared Vault, and various mall-based regional brands.

(This article has been updated with Signet's closing stock price.)