Apparel chain Hot Topic ( HOTT) had a torrid first quarter, increasing sales and per-share earnings more than 25%. The mall-based retailer posted earnings of $4.4 million, or 14 cents a share, in its quarter ended May 3. In the year-earlier period, Hot Topic earned $3.7 million, or 11 cents per share. The company's revenue jumped to $100.7 million in the quarter, from $79.9 million in the year-earlier period. On a same-store basis, which compares results at like outlets open more than one year, sales increased 2.6% from the first quarter of last year. The results bested Wall Street's earnings projections, but fell short of revenue expectations, according to a survey by Thomson First Call. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 13 cents a share on $101.35 million in sales. City of Industry, Calif.-based Hot Topic had previously projected that it would earn 13 cents a share in the quarter. The retailer expects to earn 16 cents a share in the second quarter, company officials said on a conference call. For the full year, Hot Topic expects to earn about $42 million, or $1.27 per share. Hot Topic appeared to keep expenses largely in check in the quarter. The company's cost of goods sold increased 26.4% to $65 million. But as a portion of sales, such costs increased by just 23 basis points. Gross profit margin, which is the difference between a company's sales and the cost of the goods it sells, stood at 35.4% in the quarter. Meanwhile, operating expenses increased by 25.9% in the quarter. As a portion of sales, such expenses declined by 2 basis points to 28.67%. Hot Topic shares closed regular trading up 15 cents to $23.73. In recent after-hours trading on the Island ECN, the company's shares declined 3 cents to $23.70.