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Lululemon Regains Momentum Coming Out Of Q1

Lululemon Regains Momentum Coming Out Of Q1

Reviewing Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU)'s first-quarter results, DA Davidson said the company is regaining momentum exiting the first quarter.

Encouraging Q1 Core Trends

Commenting on the results, analyst Andrew Burns said, though he is encouraged by the better than expected first-quarter core trends, the flow-through to earnings power was muted, given ivivva restructuring and digital investments.

The analyst noted first-quarter comps of -1 percent, revenues of $520.3 million and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.32 were all ahead of the consensus, the guidance and his estimates. Among other metrics, adjusted gross margin expanded 216 basis point year over year, helped by an expansion in gross margin and forex, partially offset by occupation and depreciation, the analyst added.


On the guidance, DA Davidson noted that the company expects second-quarter comps to decline by low- to mid-single-digit percentage, revenues to be $565 million to $570 million and non-GAAP earnings per share to be $0.33–$0.35.

The company's 2017 guidance calls for a positive low single-digit comp on a constant currency basis, revenues of $2.53 billion to $2.58 billion, down from the previous guidance of $2.55 billion to $2.60 billion, and adjusted earnings per share of $2.28–$2.38, up from the previous guidance of $2.26–$2.36.

The firm also noted that the company would incur restructuring costs of $50 million to $60 million related to the closure of 40 of its 55 ivivva locations and the conversion of half the remaining doors to lululemon stores.

The firm believes the updated guidance reflects core business trends, incremental e-commerce investments and ivivva store closure noise.

Although stating that the closure of ivivva stores complicates the 2017 forecast, the firm expects the action to be modestly accretive to margins and earnings.

E-Commerce Growth To Come With Investments

The firm sees a return to double-digit growth as promising, given the recent underperformance and the departure of Miguel Almeida, executive vice president of digital, in May. However, the firm thinks the growth would be fueled by incremental digital investments that raise concerns about the sustainability and profitability of current DTC growth trends.

Raising Estimates Modestly

The firm raised its estimates for the company modestly, with 2017 earnings per share and revenues estimated at $2.35 and $2.576 billion, respectively. The firm now expects 2018 earnings per share and revenues of $2.68 and $2.854 billion.

Raising Price Target

Citing the volatile performance, an increasingly competitive landscape and current valuation, DA Davidson reiterated its Neutral rating on the shares of lululemon athletica. However, the firm raised its price target to $59 from $58, based on 22 times its revised 2018 estimate.

In pre-market trading, shares of lululemon athletica were jumping 14.88 percent to $55.91.

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