What happened

Shares of fashion retailer Fossil Group (NASDAQ:FOSL) are soaring today. After being up as much as 38%, the stock settled back some, but remained up 24% as of noon EST.

A 20% decrease in constant-currency quarterly sales was better than the retailer expected, and strength in e-commerce and China sales have investors getting back into the beaten-down stock. 

So what

Regarding online sales, Fossil said it saw strong growth on company-owned and third-party websites. Sales of owned e-commerce sites grew 66%, while dedicated third-party online marketplaces grew 44%, the company said.

luxury watches on display

Image source: Getty Images.

The company also said it saw strong growth in mainland China, and "modest improvement" in wholesale channels globally.

Now what

Fossil has been struggling since before the pandemic affected retailers. The company's shares are down 85% in the last five years. Even with today's share price surge, the stock is down almost 10% from a year ago, and down 3% year to date. 

But a pivot away from brick-and-mortar sales has been helping. CEO Kosta Kartsotis issued a statement highlighting "ongoing momentum in our digital channels." The company is also better positioned from accelerating structural cost reductions.

Fossil has been improving its balance sheet over the past several months. Its cash position has risen to $324 million as of Oct. 3, compared with $278 million on July 4. And the company has lowered its total debt in that time period from $269 million to $239 million. 

Investors see trends going in the right direction and are jumping back into the stock today. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.