What happened

Deckers Brands (NYSE:DECK) shareholders outperformed a surging stock market last month. Shares jumped 23% in May compared to a 4.5% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally pushed shares back into positive territory for the year, up over 20% through early June.

A shopper selects a pair of shoes.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors celebrated the footwear and apparel company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report that on May 21 showed steady results through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales declined 5% in the period, which ran through March 31, and gross profit margin held steady at 51.5% of sales.

Investors were more impressed to hear management's update on the latest operating trends, though. Sales are trending just modestly lower through May 15, executives said in a conference call, as booming digital growth offsets the continued drag from closed retailing locations.

Now what

CEO Dave Powers and his team were careful to point out that the fiscal first quarter represents just a small portion of Deckers' annual revenue and so the rebound over the last few weeks might not be indicative of a wider recovery. Yet online enthusiasm for footwear brands like UGG and HOKA could allow the fashion specialist to return to steady growth at some point in fiscal 2021.