What happened

Shares of Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) soared on Wednesday following a fourth-quarter report that beat expectations. The fashion specialist's revenue and earnings came in ahead of analyst estimates, and its full-year guidance was better than expected. As of 11:55 a.m. EDT, the stock was up about 19.9%.

So what

Vera Bradley reported fourth-quarter revenue of $118.2 million, down 10.5% year over year but nearly $2 million above the average analyst estimate. The company's guidance had called for revenue between $114 million and $119 million.

A Vera Bradley bag.

Image source: Vera Bradley.

Comparable-store sales dropped by 2.4% in the quarter, while e-commerce sales plunged 27.4%. Overall comparable sales were down 11.2%. The company closed 10 full-line stores and opened six factory outlet stores over the past year, which hurt sales. The prior-year period also featured an extra week that produced $3 million of additional revenue last year.

Earnings per share came in at $0.25, up from $0.24 in the prior-year period and $0.02 better than analysts were expecting. Lower revenue was offset by a reduction in operating expenses, a slightly higher gross margin, and a substantially lower tax rate.

Now what

Vera Bradley expects to return to growth in the first quarter. The company forecast revenue between $86 million and $91 million, up from $86.6 million in the prior-year period.

For the full year, Vera Bradley expects revenue of $420 million to $440 million, up from $416.1 million in fiscal 2019. EPS is forecast to rise to a range of $0.64 to $0.74, up from $0.59 last year. Analysts were expecting revenue of $407 million and EPS of $0.63.

With Vera Bradley calling for a return to growth this year, the worst may finally be over for the struggling fashion company.