Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of hip apparel retailer bebe stores (Nasdaq: BEBE) jumped more than 13% in intraday trading as investors reacted to fiscal first-quarter earnings and an analyst upgrade.

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 (Nasdaq: URBN), Pacific Sunwear (Nasdaq: PSUN), and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF).

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