Yoga gear retailer lululemon athletica
Net revenue soared 69%, to $138.3 million, fueled by healthy expansion and a whopping 35% spike in comparable-store sales. Yes, that's 35% on a constant-dollar basis for the Canadian-based retailer. And you thought lululemon's 29% surge in comps was impressive a quarter ago!
Earnings tripled to $0.27 a share, even though the company bumped up its effective tax rate to 40% to clear the way for earnings repatriation. Analysts were only banking on a profit of $0.21 a share, with $128.2 million on the top line.
The key to lululemon's success is its popular collection of performance apparel. These togs are a fashion fit whether its wearers are running errands, working out, or stretching through a yoga session.
Witness the magic of premium-priced wares in demand: lululemon has generated average sales per square foot of $1,428 over the past four quarters.
That number may not mean much to you, so let's head to the mall. Taubman Centers
Is lululemon the star of the mall in monetizing its space? If there isn't a higher-grossing Apple
lululemon's guidance for the year now calls for between $1.05 and $1.10 a share in earnings, on $620 million to $635 million in net revenue.
If investors expect to pay a premium to get in on this glitzy retailer, they would be absolutely -- positively -- correct, unfortunately. The stock opened today at 37 times the high end of lululemon's projected profitability for this year.
Consumers don't have a problem paying a premium for branded performance apparel. Nike
The market is pricing Under Armour at roughly 30 times this year's earnings target, even though lululemon is growing substantially faster. In other words, lululemon may not be all that ridiculously priced, especially given its early position in the growth cycle.
It's the fastest-growing apparel retailer I've seen these days, and shareholders -- like consumers -- know that you have to pay a premium for something that works.
Do you know a hotter retailer? Prove it! Top lululemon in the comments box below.