What happened

Shares of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) jumped 29.2% in August, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the yoga-apparel retailer released impressive quarterly results and increased its full-year guidance.

After drifting higher in the weeks ahead of its formal report -- a likely indication that the market was hoping for a repeat of its previous better-than-expected release in June -- shares soared 13% on August 31, 2018 alone after the company's second-quarter performance far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations on Wall Street.

Woman in a yoga pose wearing a lululemon outfit


So what

Revenue in lululemon's fiscal second quarter grew 25% year over year, to $723.5 million, helping earnings almost double, to $0.71 per share. By contrast, three months earlier, the company told investors to expect earnings in the range of $0.46 to $0.48 on revenue of only $660 million to $665 million.

Lululemon's top line was driven by an incredible 20% increase in total comparable sales, including a 10% increase in comparable-store sales and 48% growth in direct-to-consumer net revenue. On the latter, lululemon achieved this growth despite an online warehouse sale in the same year-ago period. Direct-to-consumer revenue would have skyrocketed 66% had it not been for that event.

Now what

Lululemon CFO Stuart Haselden credited "great results [...] across all parts of our business," adding that the company is well-positioned to meet its ambitious financial goals for 2020 and beyond.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, lululemon also raised its full-year guidance to call for revenue ranging from $3.185 billion to $3.235 billion (up from $3.04 billion to $3.075 billion previously), assuming total comparable-sales growth in the low teens. That should translate to earnings per share of $3.45 to $3.53, an increase of $0.35 per share from both ends of its prior target range.

In the end, given this exceptional quarterly beat, the market effectively had no choice but to bid up lululemon stock to fresh all-time highs. And if the company can sustain this momentum going forward, I see no reason it can't continue to climb going forward.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.