What happened

Chinese e-commerce retailer Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS) outpaced the market by a wide margin last month as the stock gained 41%, versus an 8% spike in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The move didn't put long-term shareholders much closer to positive territory, though, as shares remain lower by more than 50% in the past year.

A customer enters credit card information into a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Like many stocks, particularly those attached to the slowing Chinese tech market, Vipshop shares have been under intense pressure in recent months. The stock set multiyear lows in late 2018, in fact. But sentiment for the broader market shot dramatically higher in January, which created favorable conditions for shares to rebound. That boost was further fed by a head-turning analyst upgrade that predicted Vipshop could reach as high as $10 per share in the coming months.

Check out the latest Vipshop earnings call transcript.

Now what

Vipshop edged past expectations on both the top and bottom lines in its last quarterly outing. But key growth metrics -- like its pool of active customers and average order value -- are slowing. For last month's rally to lift shares anywhere close to recent highs above $10 or $15 per share, those metrics will have to start marching higher again. Investors will learn whether that was the case recently when the company reports fourth-quarter results in late February.