NEW YORK( TheStreet) -- Regional department stores are slowly rebounding and are forecasting continued improvement for the remainder of the year. Stein Mart ( SMRT), for one, posted a surprise profit in the third quarter, as it significantly cut costs, sending shares soaring in morning trading. During the quarter, the department store earned $3.2 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.1 million, or 34 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected the company to lose 7 cents a share. Revenue fell nearly 10% to $270.7 million, while same-store sales sank 6.2%. Selling, general and administrative costs tumbled 22% to $73.3 million, as Stein Mart cut jobs and salaries and closed stores. The company also attributed some of the gains to a change in its tax accounting method. Shares are climbing 9.8% to $11.22 in morning trading.
Stage Stores ( SSI), meanwhile, narrowed its third-quarter loss and upped its outlook, but shares are still falling. The company recorded a loss of $7.3 million, or 19 cents a share, compared to a loss of $102.8 million, or $2.66 a share, in the same period last year. Analysts expected a loss of 22 cents. Sales fell 3% to $324.9 million, while same-store sales Stage Stores raised its fourth-quarter earnings to 56 cents to 66 cents a share, from a prior forecast of 54 cents to 65 cents, as it now sees comparable sales decreasing between 4% to 7%. It previously said same-store sales would fall between 5% and 8%. For the full year management now predicts earnings between 59 cents to 69 cents a share, compared to previous outlook of 47 cents to 65 cents a share. Shares are off 3.7% to $11.88 in morning trading.
Bon-Ton ( BONT) also shrunk its third-quarter loss to $4.2 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with a loss of $14.3 million, or 85 cents, a year earlier. Bon-Ton sales dropped nearly 3% to $703.9 million compared with $724.9 million last year, while same-store sales rose 3.1%. The company also narrowed its loss for the year to $1.20 and $2.30 a share, from a prior forecast of a loss of $2.50 to $3.70 per share. Bon-Ton is gaining 6.9% to $11.46 in morning trading. On Wednesday, Dillard's ( DDS) also swung to a profit, despite a 10% drop in sales. -- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.