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Ames Department Stores Inc., struggling to emerge from Chapter 11 proceedings, showed some signs of improving in its third-quarter earnings report.

The discount retailer Tuesday reported a loss of $183.2 million, citing restructuring charges of $129 million and difficulty selling the leases for more than 200 stores it closed under its reorganization plan.

The loss, which amounted to $4.97 a share, compared to a restated loss of $1.6 million, or 13 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. It amounted to $54.2 million before the restructuring charges -- an improvement from the second quarter, when the retailer lost $79.4 million.

Ames reported third-quarter sales of $740.2 million, 9.2 percent lower than adjusted 1989 third-quarter sales of $838.3 million.

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