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Lululemon Q4 Profits Rise 34.2%

Activewear firm posted double-digit gains in profits and revenues for the full year, noting that it reached the $1 billion revenue mark.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. on Thursday posted double-digit gains in profits and revenues for the fourth quarter and full year, noting that it reached the $1 billion revenue mark for the year.

For the three months ended Jan. 29, income attributable to Lululemon rose 34.2 percent to $73.5 million, or 51 cents a diluted share, from $54.8 million, or 38 cents, in the year-ago quarter. While gross profit for the quarter rose 45.7 percent, it fell by 2.2 percent as a percentage of net revenue to 56.3 percent from 58.5 percent. Revenue rose 51.4 percent to $371.5 million from $245.4 million. The company said comparable-store sales rose 26 percent, while direct to consumer revenue increased 103.6 percent to $50.1 million. Diluted earnings per share reflect the two-for-one stock split on July 8.

For the year, profits were up 51.1 percent to $184.1 million, or $1.27 a diluted share, from $121.8 million, or 85 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 40.6 percent to $1 billion from $711.7 million.

Christine Day, chief executive officer, said in a conference call to Wall Street analysts that the company’s e-commerce site, launched last April, now represents 11 percent of total sales.

She added that the goal in the fourth quarter was to “enter 2012 with a strong inventory position to break the cycle of chase and we are pleased to say that in [the first quarter of 2012, we have] strong sales momentum due to a clean inventory and strong flow of products.”

Day emphasized that the company has “found the right balance” between delivering strong growth and maintaining its focus on innovation and execution.

The company expects first quarter diluted EPS between 28 and 29 cents on a revenue range of $265 million to $270 million.

For the year, Lululemon expects diluted EPS between $1.50 and $1.57 on a revenue range of $1.3 billion to $1.33 billion.

Shares of Lululemon rose 2.5 percent to close at $75.95 in over-the-counter trading on Thursday.