What happened

Shares of athletic apparel company lululemon athletica (LULU 0.15%) shot higher on Thursday, climbing 16% as of 11:11 a.m. EDT.

The stock's gain follows Lululemon's fourth-quarter earnings release, which featured better-than-expected revenue and earnings per share as comparable sales rose by a double percentage rate.

A chart showing a stock price moving higher

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Strong sales over the holidays helped Lululemon's fourth-quarter revenue jump from $929 million in the year-ago quarter to $1.17 billionin the company's fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. This represents a 26% year-over-year increase. Lululemon's revenue was ahead of a consensus analyst estimate for revenue of $1.15 billion. 

Highlighting the company's strong momentum, comparable sales rose 17% year over year on a constant dollar basis when revenue from an extra week in the year-ago period is excluded.

Lululemon's non-GAAP (generally acceptable accounting principles) adjusted earnings per share were $1.85 -- up from $1.33 in the year-ago quarter and better than analysts' average forecast for $1.74.

Check out the latest earnings call transcript for lululemon athletica.

Now what

Management remains optimistic about the company's growth prospects.

"We are energized to build upon our momentum and to seize the many opportunities ahead for Lululemon around the world," said CEO Calvin McDonald.

The company said it expects comparable sales in 2019 to rise at a rate in the low double digits on a constant dollar basis.