Lululemon shares fall after company offers weak holiday quarter guidance

Key Points
  • Lululemon's third quarter profit and sales topped Wall Street's expectations.
  • However, the company offered softer-than-expected guidance for the holiday quarter.
  • CEO Calvin McDonald acknowledged a "challenging" environment for sales.
People line up to enter a store during Black Friday shopping at Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont of Greater Chicago Area, Illinois, the United States, on Nov. 26, 2021.
Joel Lerner | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Lululemon on Thursday reported sales and profit that topped estimates, but the company offered softer guidance than expected for the fourth quarter.

Shares of the company fell more than 7% after hours.

Here's what the company reported for the three-month period compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $2, adjusted, vs. $1.97 expected
  • Revenue: $1.86 billion vs. $1.81 billion expected

The athletic apparel retailer is a popular mall destination that's known for its trendy — and pricey — workout apparel and loungewear. Even as inflation hits Americans' wallets and people dress up again, investors have bet that the brand can keep drawing shoppers and getting them to spend.

Lululemon's third-quarter net income rose to $255.5 million, or $2 per share, from $187.8 million, or $1.44 per share a year ago. Revenue rose 28% to $1.86 billion.

Its total comparable sales increased by 22%. The closely watched metric, also called same-store sales, includes sales from stores that have been open continuously for at least 12 months, without temporary closures or renovations. Analysts expected a 19% increase, according to Street Account.

CEO Calvin McDonald said on an earnings call that the company had a strong start to the holiday season. He said Black Friday was the biggest day in its history for sales and store traffic. But he added, "We also recognize that the external environment remains challenging with several high-volume weeks still in front of us."

The company's guidance for the fourth quarter came in weaker than hoped. Lululemon said Thursday it expects fourth quarter per-share earnings of $4.20 to $4.30, compared to estimates of $4.30. It also sees revenue of between $2.605 billion to $2.655 billion, versus a projected $2.649 billion.

For the full year, the company said it sees revenue of $7.944 billion to $7.994 billion, up from its previous forecast of between $7.865 billion and $7.940 billion. It also raised its adjusted earnings per share outlook to a range of $9.87 to $9.97, from last quarter's guidance of $9.75 to $9.90.

Shares of the company are down more than 4% so far this year. The stock has outperformed the S&P 500 Index, which is down about 17% during the same period. It closed Thursday at $374.51, bringing the market cap to $47.75 billion.

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