What happened 

Shares of Tilly's Inc. (NYSE:TLYS) jumped as much as 25.3% in early trading Wednesday after the clothing company reported a first-quarter loss. At 12:20 p.m. EDT, the stock had fallen slightly but were still trading 16.9% higher for the day. 

So what

Total sales climbed 0.6% to $120.9 million and comparable-store sales went from a 4.1% decline a year ago to a 0.6% increase this year. However, net loss was still $0.2 million, or $0.01 per share, an improvement from a $0.10 loss a year ago. 

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Image source: Getty Images.

The reason shares bounced today is that analysts were expecting a $0.10-per-share loss on just $114.4 million in sales. So, results weren't great on their own, but often beating expectations is enough to push a stock higher. 

Now what

If Tilly's can start to grow same-store sales at a faster rate, the stock definitely has a lot of upside given the operational leverage brands have. Also, considering the large earnings beat in a traditionally weak quarter, there could be good news ahead. I would be cautiously optimistic on Tilly's shares given the momentum and watch for higher same-store sales as the factor that will really boost shares if it helps earnings in much harder comparisons later in the year.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.