Lululemon Atheltica (NASDAQ:LULU) announced Q4 results and guidance for the upcoming quarters. The Q4 earnings were a tad higher than the Street’s expectations and have thus resulted in an elevated share price since the opening of the market. Superficially, the company has beat consensus estimates all over the board, including revenues, EPS, gross margins, etc. but the decline in guidance for comparable same store sales was worrying.
The Q4 earnings report has top line revenue of $704.3 million above the Street’s estimate of $693.38 million. EPS provided a surprise of $0.05 and came in at $0.85 beating street’s $0.80 estimate. The EPS surprise can be attributed to multiple factors including, comps growth of 11% beating the consensus of 8.1% and FBR’s estimate of 7.5%, SG&A deleveraging causing a 135 bps estimate in line with the Street and gross margins did not decline as steeply as expected catering to only 113 basis points reduction against the Street’s estimate of 217 basis points decline. The EPS guidance for the Q1FY16 was in the range of $0.28 to $0.30 below the consensus estimate of $0.37. The company guided towards comps growth of 4% to 6% (mid-single digit) with FBR capital estimate at 5% and consensus estimate of 6.8%. The company exercised buyback for a total of 2.1 million shares at a price of $49.52 per share reflecting a $0.01 additional EPS.
Despite the positive EPS surprise, FBR Capital remains conservative of the stock and has echoed concerns regarding elevated inventory. At the end of Q4, the inventory increased by 36% during the quarter and revenues only grew by 17%. Analyst Susan Anderson retained an Underperform rating on LULU and believes inventory, comps and guidance are not hinting at a very bright near term.
Cowen on the other hand remained bullish on LULU and maintained an Outperform rating and the $66 price target as the company beat consensus for the Q4. Analyst Oliver Chen maintained his bullish view on the basis of positive sales surprise, better than expected gross margins and unexpected share repurchase.
The analyst opinion on the stock for the running month has nine strong Buy, 13 Buy, 10 Hold, four Underperform and one Sell rating. The stock is currently traded at $66.97 signifying a 9.37% increase since the opening of the market owing largely to strong Q4.