So what: The bounce was powered by two factors: weak expectations and strong fourth-quarter results. Heading into Five Below's earnings report, investors were bracing for the worst. In fact, the stock in early March fell below $30 per share for the first time since 2012.
But the retailer surprised Wall Street analysts on March 25 by posting a 24% fourth-quarter sales gain and a 30% rise in adjusted earnings. Even better, comparable-store sales rose by 3% -- twice the pace of the prior quarter. That hefty comps improvement suggests that shopper traffic is growing at Five Below's 366 locations across the U.S.
Now what: Management provided a 2015 forecast that calls for comps growth of 3%, which would keep up the solid pace from the quarter that just closed. Overall revenue should climb to as high as $824 million, the company says, boosted by the opening of 70 new locations this year. If Five Below hits that sales figure, management will have engineered another year of 20% or higher sales gains. And earnings are expected to reach $1.04 per share in 2015, up 17% from last year.