Several top retailers reported stronger-than-expected sales in May on Thursday, Reuters reported, providing a moderate surprise to Wall Street retail analysts, who had warned May might prove a disappointing month in terms of revenue for many stores.

Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD), which owns the Victoria's Secret brand, Macy's, Inc. (NYSE: M), Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR), and Fred's Inc. (Nasdaq: FRED) were among the retailers to post higher-than-forecast sales figures, while Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) narrowly missed expectations on declining overseas sales.

May is the fourth-biggest sales month of the year, according to the National Retail Federation. But analysts had expected the strong pace of spending early in the year -- which was bolstered by an increase in fair-weather activities due to unseasonably warm temperatures across the U.S. -- could sap away from purchases normally made in the month.