Stock rally takes a breather ahead of key jobs report

Stock rally takes a breather ahead of key jobs report

Lululemon’s stock (LULU) rose about 4% on Thursday after the company boosted its full-year profit outlook and raised its stock repurchase program by $1 billion.

The company said late Wednesday it now sees full-year earnings per share in a range of $14.27 to $14.47, up from a prior range of $14 to $14.20. It maintained its previously given full-year revenue forecast in a range of $10.7 billion to $10.8 billion.

The report came as investor concerns mount over the company’s slowing sales growth amid growing competition in the athleisure space from newer brands like Alo and Vuori. Prior to the earnings release, Lululemon stock was down about 40% to start 2024, making it one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 (^GSPC) this year.

“It’s a bit of a relief rally that you’re seeing in the market,” Aneesha Sherman, Bernstein senior analyst, told Yahoo Finance after Lululemon’s release.

Comparable sales in North America were flat in the first quarter, which Sherman noted was largely expected but remains a concern for investors moving forward.

“The question is, can they offset that with international, and in this quarter they did,” Sherman said.

Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said the company had some “missed opportunity” in its women’s clothing lines in the US. Particularly, a narrow color palette in leggings contributed to the slowing sales growth, per McDonald. Conversely, McDonald noted male consumers have responded well to new launches in categories like golf and training.

“Absolutely nothing has changed in terms of the growth potential of this brand, not just internationally, across all markets, but in the US,” McDonald said.

He added, “All of this is within our control. All of this the teams have been chasing, and we expect much of that to be addressed in the second half of this year.”

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