Teen retailer Aeropostale ( ARO) dipped into the red in its second quarter as a public company. However, the New York-based company posted a smaller loss than Wall Street expected, and management was mildly bullish about the second half of the year. Aeropostale, which went public in May, reported a loss of $2 million, or 6 cents a share in the second quarter, compared with a $1.7 million loss, or 6 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding a charge for equity-based compensation, the company lost a penny per share. Analysts had been expecting the company to lose 2 cents per share excluding the charge, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. The company's top line was strong, and for this reason analysts heaped platitudes on the company's execs in a conference call. Sales were $90.1 million, up 41% from $63.8 million in the year-ago period. Comparable store sales, which measure activity in shops open at least a year, were up 11%. "We are very pleased with our second quarter performance," said Julian Geiger, chairman and CEO, in the call, "as well as the trend in back-to-school." Management said it was comfortable with current consensus estimates of 50 cents per share in the third quarter and 52 cents per share in the fourth. Aeropostale shares closed up 14 cents at $19.40. The stock went public at $18 in May but opened on its first day of trading at $24.90.