Mixed Results For Lululemon For First Quarter

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) reported mixed results on its earnings call for the first quarter of its fiscal year. Lululemon’s total revenue increased 17 percent to $495.5 million, beating analysts’ estimates of $487.72 million. However, profits fell to $45.3 million, or 33 cents per share, down from $47.8 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted for certain items, first-quarter profit was 30 cents a share, narrowly missed analysts’ 31-cent average projection.

The company’s results were helped by positive consumer reception to Lululemon’s new merchandise. The yogawear retailer has expanded its product selection to include men’s and children’s lines and more women’s tops. The company is also adding more innovative pants and fabrics to its lineup.

In the quarter ended May 1, sales at existing stores rose 3 percent and would’ve risen 5 percent if not for unfavorable currency exchange rates. Sales online increased 17 percent from the same quarter the prior year, rising to $97.6 million. Total comparable-store sales, which include sales online, increased 8 percent when stripping out currency fluctuations. That exceeded the 6.7 percent gain analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had estimated. In the fourth quarter, total comparable-store sales and online sales increased by 11 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively.

The company has also focused on efficiency to improve results, increasing its gross margin to 48.3 percent in the quarter. This was wider than the 47 percent analysts had estimated. However, the company’s bottom line was pressured by rising costs, with expenses rising 32 percent to $182 million in the quarter. Chief Executive Officer Laurent Potdevin said in his prepared remarks that he was “pleased” with the results.

For the second quarter, Lululemon anticipates profit will be 36 cents to 38 cents per share on revenue of $505 million to $515 million. Analysts estimated earnings of 39 cents on revenue of $514 million. Lululemon left its full-year guidance unchanged. It still sees earnings of $2.05 to $2.15 a share on revenue of $2.31 billion to $2.34 billion. Previously, Lululemon had projected revenue between $2.29 billion and $2.34 billion.

Lululemon has been working to revamp its image after a series of unfortunate events, including a massive recall of sheer pants. The company has also had to contend with increased competition from larger rivals like Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc., as well as from upstart brands. Its founder and former CEO, Chip Wilson, recently criticized the company in a letter to shareholders saying the company lacks a clear strategy. Wilson is the largest Lululemon shareholder, with a roughly 14.2 percent stake.