• Jini Kong

Lululemon lifts full-year forecast after strong first-quarter

Canadian athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica Inc raised its full-year forecasts and reported strong quarterly results on Wednesday, benefiting from its efforts to boost online presence in a highly competitive retail industry.

The company’s shares, which have surged nearly 40% this year, were up 4% in extended trading. The company, which has plans to more than double its digital revenues by 2023, said its online net revenue increased 33% in the first quarter. “The company continues to post among the strongest results within retail,” Instinet Equity Research analyst Simeon Siegel said. “Given where the stock is trading, the reality is that investors are expecting and demanding those standout performance.” Lululemon, whose rivals include traditional sportswear makers Nike and UnderArmour, as well as companies like Target and Gap, said it now expects revenue of $3.73 billion to $3.77 billion in 2019. The company had previously forecast revenue of $3.70 billion to $3.74 billion. Lululemon, which turned women’s yoga wear into mainstream fashion, forecast full-year earnings per share of between $4.51 and $4.58, higher than its previous estimate of $4.48 to $4.55. However, the midpoint of Lululemon’s current-quarter revenue and profit range came in below estimates, as it expects impact from potential new tariffs on Chinese imports by Washington. Lululemon’s total comparable sales, a key indicator for the company’s business, rose 14% in the first quarter, while analysts on average had expected a rise of 11.6%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The company’s revenue jumped 20% to $782.3 million in the quarter ended May 5, beating analysts’ estimates of $755.3 million. Net income rose 28.5% $96.6 million, or 74 cents per share, above estimates of 70 cents per share.