Discount retailer

Bradlees

(BRAD)

, which emerged from bankruptcy protection only last year, missed Wall Street's expectations by a staggering 11 cents in the face of a sales shortfall.

Meanwhile,

Venator

(Z) - Get Report

, formerly

Woolworth

, beat expectations by 4 cents on robust sales at its Northern apparel line and Foot Locker athletic wear shops.

For the first quarter ended April 29, Bradlees reported a net loss of $23.5 million, or $2.36 a diluted share, compared to a loss of $24.4 million, or $2.39 a share, a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

was a loss of $2.25 a share.

Taking interest and an accounting change into account, the Braintree, Mass.-based company reported a loss of $16.1 million, compared to a loss of $17.0 million a year earlier.

Net sales rose to $314.9 million from $312.3 million a year ago. Sales at stores open more than a year fell 1.4% from the year before.

Like other struggling retailers, Bradlees blamed the elements for its disappointing numbers. "Because we are traditionally more softlines-oriented than other discount retailers, our business was particularly affected by the cold and rainy weather," Peter Thorner, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

For the first quarter ended April 29, Venator said that adjusted net income from operations rose to $23 million, or 16 cents a diluted share, from $1 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial was 12 cents.

Adjusted income from operations, before tax, excludes operating losses from non-core businesses and stores that were part of an accelerated program to close stores. The losses totaled $12 million in 2000 and $19 million in 1999.

Without the adjustment, the New York-based retailer reported net income of $15 million, or 11 cents a diluted share, as opposed to a loss of $3 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales from adjusted operations rose to $1.1 billion from $947 million a year ago, with the global athletic group posting sales of $1.0 billion and Northern Group reporting sales of $63 million.

In Thursday morning trading, shares of Bradlees fell 1/2, or 11%, to 4 1/4, while shares of Venator slipped 1/16, or 1%, to 11 5/8. (Bradlees closed down 3/8, or 8%, at 4 3/8 while Venator closed down 7/16, or 4%, at 10 15/16.)