Lululemon meets Wall Street's high expectations

Investors need to breathe deep and find their happy place.

By Jonathan Berr Sep 7, 2012 1:35PM
 Three adults practicing yoga, copyright Thomas Northcut, Lifesize, Getty ImagesShares of Lululemon Athletetica (LULU) rose more than 10% Friday, reversing an earlier decline as investors in the trendy maker of yoga apparel liked what they saw.

Net income at the Vancouver company surged more than 49% in the last quarter to $57.2 million, or 39 cents a share, from $38.4 million, or 26 cents, a year earlier. Excluding a tax-rate adjustment, profit came in at 34 cents, beating the 31-cent Wall Street consensus forecast. Profit would have been 31 cents at its previous tax rate.

Revenue surged 33% to $282.6 million ahead of analysts' forecasts of $282.3 million. Same-store sales, a key retail metric, rose an eye-popping 15%, which actually represents a decline from last year's 20%.

For most of the recession, Lululemon seemed to be invincible, making it a favorite target of short sellers. Wall Street soured on the company in July after the company posted an unexpectedly large gain in inventories and slashed its earnings outlook for 2012. Fierce competition from Under Armor (UAUA) and Nike (NKE) added to the company's woes.

Things seem to have taken a turn for the better as growing consumer confidence has bolstered the business. Lululemon sees third-quarter revenue of $300 million to $305 million, thanks to a "low-to-mid-teens" percentage gain in comparable-store sales. Earnings are expected to be 34 cents to 36 cents. Wall Street analysts had forecast profit of 33 cents.

For the year, earnings are seen at $1.76 to $1.81, versus consensus of $1.62. Revenue is expected to be $1.34 billion to $1.36 billion. Again, that's ahead of the $1.35 billion analysts had forecast. Lululemon raised its forecasts from previous levels.

The stock, though, may have more room to run, or go into a downward dog. Lululemon is trading at a price-to-earnings multiple of 50.4, according to Reuters. The average 52-week price on the stock is $74.79, below where it currently trades. Anyone who buys this stock had better be careful, though, because it will, at a minimum, disrupt the alignment of your chakras.

Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.

Tags: LULU
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