Lululemon Shares Jump as Holiday-Quarter Sales Surge

Mike Blake | Reuters
  • Lululemon's quarterly results beat Wall Street's expectations, sending shares higher.
  • The athletic-wear company also beat estimates on fiscal 2023 revenue and full-year profit.
  • Lululemon issued upbeat guidance for the new fiscal year.

Lululemon on Tuesday reported strong holiday-quarter sales, suggesting wealthier shoppers are still purchasing yoga pants and tops despite rising prices for essential goods.

The company also issued upbeat guidance for its new fiscal year.

Shares of Lululemon jumped about 14% in premarket trading Wednesday. Through Tuesday's close, the stock is about flat for the year, putting the company's market value at $40.87 billion.

Here's what the company reported for the three-month period ended Jan. 29, compared with Wall Street expectations based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $4.40 adjusted vs $4.26 expected
  • Revenue: $2.77 billion vs. $2.7 billion expected

Lululemon's fourth-quarter net income fell to $119.8 million, or 94 cents per share, from $434.5 million, or $3.36 per share, a year ago. Excluding impairment and other charges related to the acquisition of Mirror, as well as other items, per-share earnings were $4.40.

Revenue rose to $2.77 billion from $2.13 billion a year ago.

The company expects fiscal 2023 revenue of between $9.3 billion and $9.41 billion, topping Wall Street's expectations of $9.14 billion, according to Refinitiv estimates. The company expects full-year profit of between $11.50 and $11.72 per share, compared with Refinitiv estimates of $11.26 per share.

"Looking ahead, we remain optimistic regarding our ability to deliver sustained growth and long-term value for all our stakeholders," said Chief Financial Officer Meghan Frank in a statement.

The Vancouver-based athletic apparel retailer said total comparable sales for the fourth quarter increased by 27%. Also called same-store sales, the metric includes sales from stores open continuously for at least 12 months.

"We believe that it is one of the few companies in the space that has a very long pathway for growth, and it's also a very highly visible one," said Rick Patel, managing director at Raymond James.

Patel said his firm, which maintains a strong buy rating on the stock, sees upside in Lululemon's international business and its men's business, and that the worst of the company's inventory struggles are in the past.

In December, Lululemon said inventories at the end of its third quarter were up 85% year-over-year. The company said Tuesday that as of the end of 2022, inventories were up 50%.

CEO Calvin McDonald said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Wednesday morning that Lululemon does not have an "inventory issue" and said the rise in inventory fueled business last quarter.

"We've been beating our guidance on managing that inventory down without markdowns through whole price sale, and we've delivered on that," McDonald said. "We're confident we've guided to, again in this quarter, having inventory up 30-35% at the end of it, in line with sales in the back half of the year."

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