April sales at

New York & Co.

(NWY)

are strong, but not strong enough to salvage the first quarter, the company said Thursday.

The clothing seller cut earnings guidance for the April quarter, saying it now expects to earn 9 cents to 13 cents a share in the period, down from its previous guidance of 20 cents to 23 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had pegged earnings at 21 cents a share.

New York & Co. put first-quarter sales at $264 million to $269.5 million, down from its old range of $277 million to $282 million. Analysts, on average, had been calling for sales of $282.3 million.

Based on "month-to-date trends," the company expects to generate April sales of $88.5 million to $94 million, reflecting a 1% to 6% rise in same-store sales. "This positive trend represents a significant improvement vs. last month; however, is less than required to achieve the current earnings guidance range," it noted.

The stock closed at $15.07 Wednesday.