Lululemon

Lululemon Athletica Inc. delivered a double-digit sales increase for the second quarter, but that wasn’t enough to beat analysts’ estimates.

Net income for the quarter rose to $53 million, or 39 cents a diluted share, up from $47 million, or 34 cents, a year ago. Excluding tax adjustments, the earnings were 38 cents a share. That beat the Capital IQ estimate for net income of $52 million and was in line with the estimate for earnings per share of 38 cents.

Net revenue jumped by 14 percent to $514.5 million over last year’s $453 million, but this was short of the FactSet estimate for sales of $516 million. That disappointment caused the stock to drop more than 7 percent to $71.15 in after-hours trading.

Chief executive officer Laurent Potdevin said, “The second quarter demonstrated strong results as we delivered sales and EPS at the high end of our guidance and saw an important inflection in our gross margin and earnings performance.”

Total comparable sales including e-commerce rose by 4 percent, while comp-store sales increased by 3 percent. Gross profit increased by 20 percent to $254.2 million, and net revenue gross profit was 49.4 percent versus 46.8 percent for the same period last year.

Lululemon saw sequential improvement in bra and tank categories rising 13 and 3 percent, respectively. Potdevin said customers can expect to see more tanks with a natural feel and more lightweight layering options. The company will unveil a new Like Nothing pant. There will also be Lululemon’s first cargo pant specifically for sweaty indoor sports like Spin, no doubt trying to head off competition from Soul Cycle’s push into workout apparel. Men’s experienced a midteens comp improvement. The company said in its Mall of America store, men’s sales increased 80 percent.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Camilo Lyon said, “While we applaud the strides Lululemon is making in recapturing its gross margin this year, we believe most, if not all, of that opportunity is already reflected in estimates and thus see the compass as the key driver of upward earnings surprises.” He is sticking with his hold rating and $70 price target.

Looking ahead, Lululemon is forecasting third-quarter revenues to be in the range of $535 million to $545 million, which is on the low side of FactSet’s estimate for sales of $543 million. Earnings are projected to be in the range of 42 to 44 cents a share, also on the low end of the estimate of 44 cents.

The company was criticized this past summer by founder Chip Wilson, who said Lululemon had “lost its way.” Potdevin has been trying to reorganize the company’s supply chain in order to make it more efficient and less expensive. Chief financial officer Stuart Haselden said he expected to see accelerating earnings growth as a result of the investments.

The company continues to expand in Asia with more store openings. Potdevin said, “We’re only getting started there and it’s a significant part of the global growth going forward.”

The full year was guided to a revenue range of between $2.33 billion and $2.35 billion. The Capital IQ estimate is at $2.35 billion. Potdevin repeated past statements that the company plans to double revenue and earnings by 2020.

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