Joe's Jeans Gets a Leg Up

True Religion (NAS: TRLG) may have it all wrong.

Instead of exploring strategic alternatives that may result in an outright sale of the company, now may be a good time to be remain a publicly traded maker of premium denim.

Joe's Jeans (NAS: JOEZ) traded nearly 8% higher this morning -- before giving it all back -- after posting better-than-expected quarterly results.

The maker of high-end casual wear posted a quarterly profit of $0.02 a share as net sales soared 25% to $30.3 million. Analysts were bracing for a small deficit on a mere 15% top-line spurt.

Joe's Jeans is hitting well on its wholesale and retail businesses.

Its wholesale business advanced 26% during the period, helped out by strong gains in its fashions for men, and the rollout earlier this year of Else -- a brand of lower-priced denim sold exclusively at Macy's (NYS: M) -- for women.

Retail sales continue to be a small part of Joe's Jeans business as it builds out its namesake stores, but it's a category worth watching. Retail sales climbed as expansion and a 7% spike in comps combined to deliver 24% growth for the period.

The economy's slow yet improving ways are paying off as the company's full-priced retail stores actually checked in with a hearty 7% pop in same-store sales. Joe's Jeans has spent the past couple of years opening more outlet locations than full-priced stores, but that may be changing. Just one of the four stores that Joe's Jeans will open this quarter will be a deal-slinging outlet location.

This is a good time for Joe's Jeans despite its tiny stock price. Fashions can be fickle, but upscale yoga apparel retailer lululemon athletica (NAS: LULU) is proving that you can make a lot of money selling premium-priced clothing to well-to-do shoppers.

Obviously, we can't compare Joe's Jeans to lululemon. Joe's is starting to post head-turning growth, but it's nowhere near the kind of torrid top-line bursts and store-level comps that lululemon has been dishing out in recent years. However, it also won't take a lot in terms of positive catalysts to move the maker of skinny jeans and its even skinnier share price.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Lululemon Athletica and True Religion Apparel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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