Lululemon Athletica Inc. beats big retailers on holiday season sales

By @mik_mapa on
lululemon logo
2016A Lululemon store logo is pictured on a shop in Santa Monica, California, United States, April 12, 2016. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Lululemon Athletica Inc. has reported a strong holiday season sales in its US store and digital channels. The Canadian athletic apparel retailer has also sold its premium-priced activewear at mostly full-price as it approached the last week of Christmas.

On the other hand, big retailers including The Limited, Macy's and Sears has announced closing some of their stores following a disappointing holiday season. CEO of Lululemon Laurent Potdevin said that the sales were driven by the company's assortment, operational execution and guest experience.

Wolfe Research analyst Adrienne Yih said that even after the holiday week, the company's total clearance items were fewer than the year before. She said that the total clearance items during the week of Dec. 31, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017, increased 32 percent year-over-year versus the 90 percent increase during the same week of 2016. The company's earnings per share also got a boost from its previous guidance of US$0.96 (AU$1.31) to US$1.01 (AUS$1.37) to US$0.99 (AU$1.35) to US$1.01 (AUS$1.37).

The company is now expecting a net revenue between US$775 million (AU$ 1.05 billion) to US$785 million (AU$1.06 billion). It is a better forecast than the previous range of US$765 million  (AU$1.03 billion) to US$785 million (AU$1.06 billion). William Blair & Co. retail analysts are also expecting that Lululemon will meet or beat the high end of the guidance for mid-single digit comparable sales gain in the fourth quarter.

Amy Noblin, retail analyst at Blair, said that they believe investors will once again achieve successful fourth quarter results as the company is well-positioned in meeting or exceeding its expectations. Brian Tunick of RBC Capital Markets believed that the company's sale would be stronger and the stock trading earning would grow by 19 percent in 2017.

On Tuesday, Lululemon will be presenting at the ICR Conference in Orlando where it is expected to give more information about the strength of its holiday business.