What happened

Shares of action sports clothier Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) -- what else? -- zoomed after reporting a big earnings beat yesterday evening. Expected to earn just $0.60 per share on sales of $260.9 million, Zumiez instead reported sales of $264 million -- and $0.75 per share.

Zumiez shares are up an impressive 14.5% as of 11:25 a.m. EST.

Man on scooter zooming up a rising arrow

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Total sales for the third quarter 2019 grew 6.1% year over year, and same-store sales were up 5.5%. Profits rose a staggering 37.1% -- and these were profits as calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), not their weak tea pro forma cousins!  

CEO Rick Brooks pronounced himself "very pleased with the third quarter performance," and noted that "the third quarter represented our fourth consecutive strong back-to-school season, our 13th quarter of positive comparable sales gains."

Now what

And that's just the start of the good news. Brooks also observed that "the holiday season is off to a good start," with "comparable sales increased 3.3%" in the Black Friday-Cyber Monday period. Management now forecasts that Zumiez will book sales between $314 million and $320 million in Q4 at 12.5% to 13% operating profit margins, resulting in earnings per share of between $1.26 and $1.32.

Although that sales prediction, at the midpoint, falls slightly short of Wall Street's target for Zumiez in Q4 ($318.5 million), the profits prediction easily eclipses the $1.17 per share that the Street was expecting -- which explains why Zumiez stock zoomed today.