Lululemon Revenues Miss, Guidance Lower, Turnaround in Neutral

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Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) reported third-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Thursday. The yoga gear maker reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.42 on revenues of $419.4 million, compared with EPS of $0.45 on revenues of $379.9 million in the same period a year ago. The consensus estimates called for EPS of $0.38 on revenues of $424.77 million.

Same-store sales fell by 3% year-over-year in the quarter, while total comparable sales, including online sales, rose 3%, all on a constant dollar basis. Direct-to-consumer sales now make up 27% of the company’s total sales.

For the fourth quarter of 2014, the company guided EPS at a range of $0.65 to $0.69 on revenues in the range of $570 million to $585 million. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $0.72 on revenues of $593.54 million. Lululemon lowered its revenue guidance by about $15 million, which the company attributed to delays at West Coast ports, a weaker Canadian dollar and delayed store openings.

For the full 2014 fiscal year, the company guided adjusted EPS in a range of $1.74 to $1.78 on revenues of $1.765 billion to $1.780 billion, compared with the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.77 on revenues of $1.79 billion. Lululemon’s adjusted earnings for the year exclude a first-quarter tax expense of $30.9 million related to the repatriation of foreign earnings to fund a $450 million share repurchase program that the firm also announced Thursday morning.

Lululemon repurchased 1.8 million shares of the company’s common stock in the third quarter at an average cost of $40.49 per share. For the first three-quarters of the year, the company has bought back 3.3 million shares at an average cost of $39.94 per share. In that time the shares have appreciated about 4.3%. For the past 12 months, shares are down nearly 32% and the stock has fallen by 37% in the past two years. At its peak in the summer of 2013, the stock price was north of $82.

The company’s CEO said:

I am pleased that our third quarter results demonstrated sequential improvements as the quarter progressed, with all key facets of our business — brand, guest experience, and product — contributing to our momentum. I am confident that our strong team, coupled with strategic investments into our core business areas, have already made a positive impact and place us on a strong trajectory for further global growth

Lululemon’s shares were down about 2% in premarket trading Thursday, at $45.75 in a 52-week range of $36.26 to $71.88.

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