Lululemon Plunges Over 16% On Poor Guidance

LULU shareholders may be stunned, but at least someone at United Airlines is smiling.

Lululemon reported Q4 earnings of $0.99, missing consensus estimates of $1.01 by 2 cents, hardly a disaster.

However, it was LULU's guidance that shocked Wall Street.

According to the press release, for Q1 the company now expects net revenue to decline, and be in the range of $510 million to $515 million based on a total comparable sales decrease in the low-single digits on a constant dollar basis. Wall Street had expected the company to generate $552.8 million in revenue in the quarter. 

Worse, the company guided to Q1 EPS of $0.25 to $0.27, far below the consensus estimate of $0.39, and below even the lowest Wall Street forecast of $0.34. LULU noted that the guidance assumes a 31.2% tax rate (perhaps it should simply lower its effective tax rate by reincorporating in Ireland).

For the full fiscal 2017, LULU said it expects net revenue to be in the range of $2.550 billion to $2.600 billion based on a total comparable sales increase in the low-single digits on a constant dollar basis. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $2.26 to $2.36 for the full year, modestly higher than the $2.16 estimate however Wall Street does not appear to have some doubts about this longer-term forecast.

While LULU did not explain what caused the sharp slowdown in demand for the company's products - one doubts the recent United Airlines scandal had a dramatic adverse effect -LULU warned that 1Q comp sales would be down low-single digits, confirming that there is something very strange when it comes to consumer demand in the current quarter, and which certainly does not jive with reports of soaring consumer confidence.

Needless to say, the market is not happy with LULU's sudden pivot away from being a growth stock, sending it over 17% lower in after hours trading.

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Kate Hayden 3 years ago Contributor's comment

Oh come on - I hate it when people sacrifice accuracy for the sake of snark. Clearly the United-leggings fiasco is too recent for you to even mention it in the context of their quarterly report.