Lululemon shares fall as retailer gives tepid holiday outlook

Black Friday shoppers at a Lululemon store at the Garden State Plaza in New Jersey.

Mike Calia | CNBC

Lululemon on Thursday said it saw strong third-quarter demand and a positive start to the holiday shopping season, but the retailer’s shares fell in extended trading after it gave a tepid fourth-quarter outlook.

During the quarter, sales jumped 12% in North America and 49% internationally but the retailer’s holiday guidance came in light of expectations. Lululemon said it’s expecting sales to be between $3.14 billion and $3.17 billion for the fourth quarter, which is shy of the $3.18 billion analysts had expected, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv.

It expects earnings to be between $4.85 and $4.93 per share, compared to estimates of $4.80 to $5.19, according to LSEG. For the full year, Lululemon expects sales to be between $9.55 billion and $9.58 billion, compared to estimates of $8.11 and $9.90 billion, according to LSEG.

Shares fell about 3% in extended trading.

Here’s how the company did in its third fiscal quarter:

  • Earnings per share: $2.53 adjusted. It wasn’t immediately clear if the figures were comparable, with what Wall Street was anticipating, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG
  • Revenue: $2.20 billion vs. $2.19 billion expected

The company’s reported net income for the three-month period that ended October 29 was $249 million, or $1.96 per share, compared with $255 million, or $2 per share, a year earlier. 

Sales rose to $2.2 billion, up about 19% from $1.86 billion a year earlier.

“This was another strong quarter for lululemon as our innovative product offerings and community activations continued to powerfully resonate with our guests globally. As we enter the holiday season, we are pleased with our early performance and are well-positioned to deliver for our guests in the fourth quarter,” CEO Calvin McDonald said in a news release. “I am energized by the significant opportunities ahead.”

On a call with analysts, McDonald said Black Friday this year was the “single biggest day” in the company’s history. He added that Lululemon is “encouraged” by the trends it has seen at the start of the holiday season.

During Lululemon’s third quarter, total comparable sales were up 13%, higher than the 12.4% jump that analysts had expected, according to StreetAccount. Comparable sales at the retailer’s stores came in at 9%, lower than the 11.7% Wall Street expected.

But comparable direct to consumer sales spiked 18%, higher than the 16.9% analysts had expected, according to StreetAccount.

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