Lululemon Q4 sales, earnings beat Street but provides no guidance

Marianne Wilson
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Lululemon reported a strong fourth quarter, fueled by surging online and men’s sales. But citing uncertainty due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company declined to provide a fiscal 2020 outlook.

On an earnings call with analysts, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said the company’s stores in the U.S. and Canada will reopen on a “market by market basis,” based on local information. He also noted that a good deal of Lululemon’s merchandise is “less seasonal in nature” than most other apparel categories.  

“Styles can be held for future use,” McDonald said,

Similar to many other retailers, Lululemon will scale back on store openings and remodels in the near term as it focuses on managing expenses. 

The retailer earned $298 million, or $2.28 a share, in the quarter ended Feb. 2, compared with $218 million, or $1.65 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $2.25 a share.

Sales rose 20% to $1.40 billion, beating estimates of $1.38 billion.  Total same-store sales rose 9%. Digital sale jumped 41%. Men’s revenue rose 32%, and women’s was up 17%. 

For the full year, Lululemon’s net revenue rose 21% to $4.0 billion. Total comparable sales increased 17%.

“2019 was a strong year for Lululemon,” McDonald said in a statement. “We are now navigating an extraordinary environment, which is currently impacting our business. The strength of our brand and strong financial position will help us manage through the day-to-day, while continuing to effectively plan for and invest in our future.” 

Lululemon said it temporarily closed all of its retail locations in mainland China in February. All but one of the stores has since reopened.