lululemon’s Quiet-Period Ends: Research Initiations (LULU)

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lululemon athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) has been quite a performer based on its recent IPO performance. The indicated range was $15.00 to $17.00, but the company sold 18.2 million shares at $18.00 per share.  Since the IPO, shares have traded as high as $38.85.

This morning, we are getting to see the analyst call initiations as the quiet-period has ended:

Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch were the lead underwriters.  Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a "Buy" rating and a $40.00 target.  Merrill Lynch has started coverage with a Neutral rating.

Here are the co-manager calls and outside calls:

CIBC started coverage with an "Outperform" rating.

Wachovia started it with a "Market Perform" rating.

William Blair started coverage with an "Outperform" rating and an Aggressive Growth company profile.  Analyst Sharon Zackfia estimated that the company, which retails its yoga-inspired athletic apparel through company-owned boutique-style stores, would earn $0.29 per share in 2007, $0.46 per share in 2008, and $0.71 per share in 2009.

RBC Capital Markets, which was not in the underwriting and thus exempt from the quiet period rules, started coverage all the way back at the end of July with an Outperform rating.  Shares closed at $28.00 that day, on its IPO day.

Other co-managers were UBS and Thomas Weisel, and we haven’t seen those reports yet.

If you will recall, it was just about a month ago that Jim Cramer noted this one as having some of the same characteristics of under Armour (NYSE:UA).  Shares had closed at $31.00 that day, and shares are down 2% at $34.15 on the day, now.  it seems that based on the mixed coverage and on the targets that investors may be waiting for this one to cool down before they chase it further.

Last month’s short interest in August was listed as 2.011 million shares.  The company said it will report earnings on Monday, September 10, 2007, after the market close.

Jon C. Ogg
September 5, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he produces the Special Situation Investing Newsletter and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.