Lululemon posts higher profit as same-store sales rise

Lululemon's biggest missteps
Lululemon's biggest missteps   

Canadian yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica forecast a weaker-than expected first quarter profit, months after it said margins would trough in 2015 as it continues to invest in improving quality and solving supply-chain problems.

Lululemon forecast earnings of 31 cents to 33 cents per share for the current quarter on net revenue of $413 million to $418 million.

The Vancouver-based company said on Thursday it expects total comparable sales, which includes same-store and online sales, to increase in the "low single digits."

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 39 cents per share and revenue of $442 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's shares fell 3.2 percent to $59.00 in light premarket trading on Thursday. (Get the latest quote here.)

The shares have declined some 10 percent since the beginning of March, after they rallied for months amid signs that the company was finally getting back on track after a high-profile yoga pants recall kicked off a series of PR snafus, and led to executive changes and a supply chain overhaul.

Lululemon said net profit for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 rose to $110.9 million, or 78 cents per share, from $109.7 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total comparable sales rose 8 percent, while net revenue jumped 16 percent to $602.5 million.

Analysts expected the athletic apparel maker to post earnings per share of 73 cents on revenue of $602 million, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

Lululemon raised its fourth-quarter guidance mid-January, citing strong holiday sales, and strong comparable stores sales. The company estimated comparable store sales to increase between 6 and 7 percent.

Lululemon's stock has dropped about 8 percent in the last month, but remains up nearly 30 percent in the last year.

On Monday, investment firm Canaccord Genuity lowered its price target on the company's stock from $58 per share to $55, citing a weak start to the year which will lead to cautious orders.

The company's stock has underperfomed in comparison to its peer Gildan Activewear. Gildan's stock has risen nearly 40 percent in the last 12 months, while also rising about 16 percent year-to-date. Lululemon's stock has risen about 11 percent year-to-date.

CNBC contributed to this report.