Kohl’s (KSS) posted a decline in first-quarter earnings on Thursday amid weaker-than-expected sales but revealed a surprise bottom-line beat and an in-line current-quarter outlook.  

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based off-price retailer reported net income of $147 million, or 66 cents a share, down 4% compared with a year-earlier profit of $154 million, or 63 cents.

The results topped average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by 10 cents a share.

Shares of Kohl’s climbed 7.3% to $53.30 in early trade.

Revenue for the three months ended May 4 was $4.2 billion, down 1% from $4.24 billion a year ago, led lower by a 1.9% decline in same-store sales, a key measurement of growth. Analysts on average were calling for slightly higher sales of $4.26 billion.

Offsetting the decline in same-store sales, which is comprised of sales at stores open longer than a year, was a more than 30% rise in e-commerce sales. Kohl’s said it outperformed its own earnings guidance amid improved gross margins and tighter costs.

“After a slow start, sales improved considerably in April as the weather finally improved in our most weather-sensitive regions,” Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell said in a statement.

In the current quarter ending August 3, Kohl’s anticipates earnings in the range of $1.00 to $1.08 a share, bracketing the consensus view of $1.05 a share. That outlook assumes sales growth of 1% to 3%.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton