Shareholders hoping for a break amid bebe Stores' (NASDAQ:BEBE) recent tough times found little reason to be pacified in the retailer's fourth-quarter results.

Quarterly sales may have increased by 6.9% to $162.7 million, but same-store sales still dropped by 5.7% for the quarter. Net income decreased by 10% to $19.7 million, or $0.21 per share, with gross margin falling to 48.1% of sales, compared with 50.5% last year.

All's not lost, though. For example, bebe's cash hoard has increased 20% to $392.7 million. And inventories didn't burgeon too badly, up 4.5%. However, Foolish investors probably aren't thrilled that bebe didn't provide a cash flow statement in its press announcement; it's due with the company's regulatory filing.

Any nagging doubts about this Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick are entirely understandable. The retailer said in its press announcement that it will no longer report its same-store sales on a monthly basis, a new trend among retailers I noticed last summer. It seems to be a favorite tactic of beleaguered retailers shying from monthly exposures of their weakening comps, like Talbots (NYSE:TLB) or Bombay (OTC BB: BBAO.OB). And any troubles with bebe's merchandise likely relate to its loss of a key employee earlier this year. The now-departed Neda Mashouf allegedly provided much of bebe's fashion sense.

Of course, in retail investing, fashion missteps can provide the best opportunities -- as long as the company can turn things around. bebe's share price has dropped nearly 40% in the last 12 months. Provided you don't believe that bebe's turnaround will be long, arduous, and unsuccessful, like those we've seen at Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Pier 1 (NYSE:PIR), this might be a great time to buy. My Foolish colleague David Meier recently dubbed bebe a contender in the current retail scavenger hunt, thanks to its return on invested capital and hefty cash position.

Temporary problems can make tempting opportunities in the retail sector. Given bebe's 22% earnings growth rate over the last five years, I'm willing to bet that bebe can pull itself back to its former strength.

Get the skinny on bebe with further Foolishness:

Bebe and Gap are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. To find out what other companies David and Tom Gardner have recommended to subscribers, try on a 30-day free trial for size.  

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. Gap is also an Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy fits everyone perfectly.