Fossil's (NASDAQ:FOSL) first-quarter earnings were a bit dusty, but judging by the stock's surge today, investors found some buried treasure amid the company's report.

First-quarter net income dropped 43%, to $17.3 million, or $0.26 per share. Revenue decreased 9.3%, to $323 million. (The drop would have been 2.1% excluding currency translation.) Gross margin dropped 2.1 percentage points, to 52.4% of net sales.

Those tidings may not sound too hot, but Fossil's quarterly earnings did beat analysts' expectations, and sales were just about in line. Another silver lining was that the company raised its 2009 guidance to $1.50 to $1.70 per share, from the $1.40-$1.60 range it had previously anticipated.

The company touted its performance in light of the tough economic environment. It's true that misery loves company these days, and many consumer goods companies have been suffering as consumers pinch their pennies. For example, Coach (NYSE:COH) didn't report a particularly fantastic quarter in April, although it did beat analysts' expectations and reported signs of stabilization. 

Other high-end retailers and consumer goods companies, however, have had a difficult time, as evidenced by slowdowns at retailers such as Saks (NYSE:SKS), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), and Tiffany (NYSE:TIF).

Why might Fossil be doing better? The firm provides handbags and accessories at a variety of price points, so some shoppers may be trading down to Fossil after the heady days of high-priced accoutrements that were so popular during more bubbly times.

Fossil, which is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick, seems like a good stock for investors' watch lists. Like I said, it gains resilience by its products at a variety of price points, and it has $202.9 million in cash and securities and just $9.3 million in debt. Plus, the company has been buying back shares.

Given today's jump, Fossil shares are trading at 12 times trailing earnings, which is fairly comparable to other retail and consumer-goods companies; Coach and Guess (NYSE:GES) sport a P/E around 11, while Tiffany is trading at 15 times earnings. Fossil remains a solid stock idea for investors since it provides products that allow consumers to stay within a more conservative budget than some higher-end brands.

Accessorize with some related Foolishness:

Fossil is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection, and Coach is a Stock Advisor pick. Dig into any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.