What happened

Shares of Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) climbed 45.4% in September, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the streetwear specialist announced better-than-expected second-quarter results.

Zumiez stock skyrocketed more than 23% on Sept. 8, 2017 alone -- the first trading day after its quarterly report -- then continued to drift higher for the duration of the month as the market celebrated its performance.

That's not to say Zumiez results looked particularly impressive at first glance. Quarterly revenue climbed a modest 7.8% year over year to $192.2 million, helped by a 4.7% increase in comparable sales. On the bottom line, that translated to a net loss of $0.6 million, or $0.02 per share, narrowed from a $0.03-per-share net loss in the same year-ago period. By comparison, however, Zumiez's latest guidance had called for significantly lower revenue in the range of $185 million to $189 million, assuming comparable sales growth of 1% to 3% and a much wider per-share net loss in the range of $0.06 to $0.11.

Zumiez store front


So what

"I am extremely pleased with how well our teams continue to execute in the current environment," added Zumiez CEO Rick Brooks. "Our intense focus on serving our consumer with differentiated assortments and great service is fueling market share gains and strengthening our leadership position in the industry."

In addition, keeping in mind Zumiez fiscal second quarter ended on July 29, 2017, Zumiez told investors that growth for the four-week period ended Aug. 26, 2017, accelerated, with comparable sales climbing 7.4% and net sales increasing 10.1% year over year to $98.6 million.

Now what

Finally, for the fiscal third quarter ending Oct. 28, 2017, Zumiez anticipates net sales to range from $236 million to $241 million (assuming comparable sales growth of 4% to 6%), which should translate to net income per share of $0.43 to $0.48. Analysts, on average, were modeling lower revenue of $230.1 million and net income near the bottom end of Zumiez's guidance range.

In the end, given today's particularly challenging retail environment, Zumiez investors couldn't ask much more of their company than it delivered in last month's report. And with Zumiez shares still down around 17% so far in 2017 as of this writing, it was no surprise to see the stock up big in September as a result.

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