Stock Market Today: Lululemon Dives and HP Catches an Upgrade

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) has lost 22 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a negative start to the stock market today. A few individual stocks could see big moves, including lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU  ) , which just delivered its quarterly results, and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , which caught an analyst upgrade.

Lululemon today posted first-quarter results that were slightly ahead of Wall Street's expectations. Sales improved by 11% to $385 million as a 25% boost in direct-to-consumer sales offset a 4% decline at its stores. Adjusted profit of $0.34 a share beat the consensus estimate for $0.32 in earnings. The athletic-apparel company even managed to increase profitability: gross margin improved to 51% from 49% a year ago. However, lululemon's outlook for the rest of the year was a disappointment: The company dialed back its earnings guidance for 2014 and now expects a substantial decrease in comparable-store sales in the second quarter. CEO Laurent Potdevin said in a press release that, "Despite a reduced outlook, I am confident that the work we are doing will only enhance our premium positioning as we continue to lead as the market innovator." Lululemon also announced plans for  "opportunistic repurchases" of up to $450 million of its stock over two years. Today might qualify as one of those opportunities: the stock was down 17% in pre-market trading.

Hewlett-Packard shares could see a slight boost today after Goldman Sachs removed the stock from its sell list and raised its price target to $32 a share from the prior $25 estimate. The upgrade was hardly a ringing enforcement of the hardware maker's business: analyst Bill Shope said Goldman is just "incrementally more positive on the progress" of HP's turnaround, and is still "not comfortable assuming" a return to sales growth. However, Shope highlighted HP's strong cash generation as one reason to credit management for solid execution. HP did, after all, book $3 billion in operating cash flow last quarter, which helped it return more than $1 billion to shareholders in dividends and stock repurchases. The company still faces huge challenges as the PC market continues to shrink, but there's no denying that HP is making some progress in its turnaround. The stock was up 1.3% in pre-market trading.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos

Demitrios covers consumer goods and media companies for, as well as broader moves in the economy.

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Related Tickers

9/1/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16058.35 Down -469.68 -2.84%
HPQ $27.81 Down -0.25 -0.89%
Hewlett-Packard Co… CAPS Rating: ***
LULU $63.07 Down -0.94 -1.47%
Lululemon Athletic… CAPS Rating: ***