What happened

Shares of DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW) declined 18.4% in the month of May, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the footwear retailer announced mixed first-quarter 2017 results.

So what

More specifically, shares had already started to slip in the days leading up to DSW's official report. But DSW stock fell more than 8% on May 23, 2017, alone after the company confirmed that quarterly revenue had risen just 1.4% year over year to $691.1 million. And even then, that result included a 3% drop in comparable-store sales, offset by $22.3 million in revenue stemming from last year's acquisition of Ebuys. On the bottom line, DSW's adjusted (non-GAAP) net income fell 21.7% year over year to $25.7 million, or $0.32 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for higher adjusted earnings of $0.33 per share on slightly lower revenue of $691.1 million.

DSW store interior

IMAGE SOURCE: DSW.

Now what

To be fair, DSW also reiterated its full fiscal-year 2017 guidance for earnings per share of $1.45 to $1.55. And DSW CEO Roger Rawlins noted that while the first quarter was "challenging," sales trends improved with comparable sales turning positive in April.

"The investments we have made in our digital capabilities, such as our redesigned website and mobile app, drove robust growth in digital demand," Rawlins added. "We are intently focused on driving sequential top line improvements through key product and customer initiatives while balancing strategic investments with disciplined expense management."

In the end, it's hardly surprising to see the market bidding DSW shares down after this underwhelming quarter. But if the company demonstrates that the improved business trends are sustainable when it next reports earnings in August, this pullback could prove short-lived.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends DSW. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.