Lululemon Athletica shares hit new highs following strong quarterly performance and improved...

Lululemon Athletica shares hit new highs following strong quarterly performance and improved outlook

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Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) announced strong financial results for the first quarter, and lifted its earnings outlook for the full year, sending its shares up more than 16 percent on Friday.

The athletic apparel maker’s push to revamp its stores has paid off, with traffic increasing in mid-single digit range during the latest quarter.

The Vancouver, Canada-based company now expects profit in the range of $3.10 a share to $3.18 a share for the full year, as compared to its earlier projection in between $3.00 a share and $3.08 a share.

Several brokerage firms lifted their price target for Lululemon’s stock. Barclays increased its price target from $100 to $150, saying everything was impressive in the first-quarter report.

Separately, Cowen analysts said the company’s first-quarter performance was remarkable with results exceeding across all segments and regions. The research firm has an “outperform” rating on the stock, with a price target of $120.

Lululemon reported net income of $75.2 million, or 55 cents a share in the first quarter, well above $31.3 million, or 23 cents a share in the comparable period last year. Excluding items, the company earned 55 cents a share, easily beating consensus forecast of 46 cents.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $649.7 million, versus $520.3 million in the same period last year, and above consensus forecast of $616 million.

Analysts at Morningstar referred to strong performance at the company’s men’s and accessories lines and said Lululemon’s merchandises continue to resonate with changing customers taste.

Speaking to investors on a conference call, Chief Operating Officer Stuart Heselden said the company is on track to reach $4 billion in sales in 2020.

Lululemon shares hit a new 52-week high of $123.84 in the last trading session following strong quarterly results.

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I handle much of news coverage for tech stocks, and occasionally cover companies in different sectors. In the past, I've written for other financial sites and published independent investment research, primarily on tech companies. I have a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University. I'm based out of San Diego, but grew up in Southern New Jersey. I play basketball and tennis in my spare time, am a long-time (and long-suffering) fan of Philadelphia's sports teams, and alternate daily between using an iPad Air, a Galaxy Note 3, and one or two Windows PCs.

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