Has Lululemon Athletica inc. Recovered From Past Embarrassments?
Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) has faced its challenges in the past, from offensive comments made by its CEO to a massive recall on a pair of unintentionally see-through yoga pants. However, it seems the company is getting back on track after posting impressive first quarter fiscal 2015 results on June 9.
The athletic apparel retailer posted quarterly revenue of $423.5 million, beating the analyst consensus of $418.9 million and marking a 10% year-over-year increase. Lululemon posted diluted earnings per share of $0.34, beating the analyst consensus by one cent. Looking forward, Lululemon raised its earnings outlook, expecting to post quarterly revenue between $440 million and $445 million for the second quarter.
After the earnings report, most analysts are cautiously optimistic that Lululemon is getting back on track.
Barclays analyst Matthew McClintock maintained an Overweight rating on LULU and an $85 price target following the company’s 1Q15 report. McClintock believes the impressive report will pressure investors to “re-evaluate their thesis” on Lululemon. The analyst explained that many firms were bearish on the stock due to fears about competition, overly aggressive prices, unsatisfactory products and irreparable brand damage. McClintock believes that this quarter marked an inflection point for LULU’s margins. He continued, “A major bear thesis on the stock following 4Q14 results was that comp store sales were only strong because of easier comparisons, as the two-year stack comp trend decelerated that quarter. Should the company reach its HSD comp guidance for 2Q15, the two-year stack trend will stabilize, if not improve, making it much more difficult to support bear stories.”
Matthew McClintock has a 69% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +18.8% average return per rating.
Separately, Oppenheimer analyst Anna Andreeva reiterated an Outperform rating on LULU and raised her price target from $70 to $75. The analyst noted, “Half of inventory build ports-related, and we think LULU is managing overhang smartly with 2/3 of product re-distributed for 2H15 (to be sold at full price) and remainder to clear by end of 3Q15 (online warehouse sale in July).” Overall, Andreeva is optimistic on lululemon as recent investments begin to “bear fruit” and as the focus on innovation begins to pay off.
Anna Andreeva has a 63% success rate recommending stocks with a +10.1% average return per rating.