Lululemon

Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. rose in after-market trading following the company’s posting of third-quarter results that easily beat Wall Street’s consensus estimates.

Net income for the period ended Oct. 30 jumped 28.5 percent to $68.3 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, from $53.2 million, or 38 cents, a year ago. Net revenue rose 13.5 percent to $544.4 million from $479.7 million, while total comparable-store sales including direct-to-consumer rose 7 percent. Comps at stores rose 4 percent.

Wall Street was expecting EPS of 43 cents on revenues of $540.2 million.

The company said gross profit in the quarter rose 24 percent to $278.4 million, and as a percentage of net revenue was 51.1 percent compared with 46.9 percent in the year-ago quarter.

For the nine months, net income rose 12.5 percent to $167.2 million on a net revenue gain of 14.6 percent to $1.55 billion.

Laurent Potdevin, Lululemon’s chief executive officer, said, “Our third-quarter results demonstrated strong execution across all areas of our business as we delivered continued top-line momentum, outperformed in gross margin and inflected meaningfully in EPS.”

He said the company entered the fourth quarter experiencing “mixed sales results that have since improved.”

In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Potdevin said the company continues to be “on track with our five-year plan of doubling our revenue and more than doubling our earnings as we continue to execute against our long-term growth strategies — from product innovation, expanding our international footprint, building a $1 billion dollar men’s category and connecting our global collective through our digital ecosystem.”

Looking ahead, he said that the company will be “coming up with a fantastic innovation in the bra category in 2017.” The ceo said the firm’s bra revenue grew more than 20 percent, and noted that its performance in tops and tanks was due to the “success of layered combinations,” such as its lightweight tank top paired with the brand’s energy bra.

The company this month will open its first store in China in Shanghai, with a second site in the city after that. Two to three more stores in Shanghai are slated for next year. Potdevin also said the company plans to open its first store in Beijing in a few weeks. In mid-2017, the company will open its international flagship store on Regent Street in London.

The company updated its fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 outlook, and now expects diluted EPS in the range of 96 cents to $1.01, with net revenues between $765 million and $785 million.

For fiscal year 2016, diluted EPS is expected at $2.18 to $2.23 on a revenue range of $2.32 billion to $2.34 billion. That compares with its guidance of diluted EPS of between $2.11 and $2.19 on estimated net revenues of $2.33 billion to $2.35 billion in July when the company reported second-quarter results.

Shares of Lululemon closed up 4.5 percent to $59.84 in Nasdaq trading, but then spiked up 12.6 percent to $67.40 after it posted its earnings report and updated guidance following the market close.

Separately the company’s board approved a stock repurchase program for up to $100 million of its common shares. “The stock repurchase program is intended to create shareholder value by making opportunistic repurchases during periods of favorable market conditions,” the company said.

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