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What: Shares of hip apparel retailer bebe stores
So what: bebe's first-quarter sales came in at $118 million, which was pretty surprising considering the company just said last month that sales for the quarter were just $112 million. The 4.7% decline in same-store sales that bebe reported in October did hold, though, and the company recognized a net loss per share from continuing operations of $0.01. While sales technically beat analysts' expectations, that's only because the bar was lowered after the company announced the lower number a month ago. The per-share loss met estimates, while the second-quarter earnings per share forecast was below Wall Street's expectations.
Now what: The sales surprise likely helped drive the positive reaction from investors today, but given the fairly lukewarm results, the upgrade from Janney Capital Markets may have more to do with the stock's gains. Adrienne Tennant boosted bebe's shares to "buy" from "neutral" because of expectations of a turnaround in sales. There's reason to believe that bebe's shares are on the cheap side right now, but the company still has to deal with a struggling consumer and a cutthroat marketplace that includes competitors like Urban Outfitters
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his Motley Fool CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool’s disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.