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Lululemon sales top $6 billion for first time; gives bullish outlook

Lululemon ended the year with 574 stores.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. closed the books on a record year and said it sees plenty of opportunities for growth as it moves forward.

The athletic apparel retailer reported more than $6 billion in revenue for 2021, which was more than Under Armour's take for the year.  Lululemon plans to up its store expansion this year, opening about 70 net new stores, which includes 40 locations in international markets. 

The company which recently entered the footwear category,  is launching a collection designed for tennis this week.  It's also looking at growth in some other sports categories, and will roll out its first-ever collection designed for golf next week,  said CEO Calvin McDonald  on the earnings call.

"We have ample opportunity to bring new technical solutions to our guests and I am pleased with how our product pipeline looks going forward," McDonald told analysts. 

 Lululemon’s net income rose 31.7% to $434.5 million, or $3.36 per share, for the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 30. Adjusted earnings per share totaled $3.37, up from $2.58 a share a year ago. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $3.27 a share.

Revenue increased 23% to $2.14 billion, slightly ahead of estimates of  $2.13 billion. Net revenue increased 21% in North America and 35% internationally.

Total comparable sales rose 22%. Comparable store sales increased 32%. Direct to consumer net revenue increased 17% and represented 49% of total net revenue compared to 52% for the fourth quarter of 2020.

For the full year, profit increased 65.6% to $975.3 million. Revenue jumped 42.1% to $6.26 billion. Company-operated store net revenue increased 70%. Direct to consumer net revenue increased 22%, and accounted for 44% of total net revenue.

Lululemon opened 53 stores last year, for a total of 574 locations at the end of its fourth quarter.

2021 was another successful year for Lululemon, which speaks to the enduring strength of our brand and our ability to deliver sustained growth across the business,” stated McDonald. “We are proud that we passed the $6 billion in annual revenue milestone for the first time, and successfully achieved our Power of Three growth target ahead of schedule. This was especially impressive given the challenging macro backdrop. We are entering the new year from a position of strength, which we’ll build upon to continue delivering for our guests and shareholders in the years to come."

[Read More: Analysis: Lululemon entry into footwear could be market ‘gamechanger’]

Lululemon forecast first-quarter earnings of $1.38 to $1.43 a share on sales of $1.525 billion to $1.55 billion, and full-year earnings of $9.15 to $9.35 a share on sales of $7.49 billion to $7.62 billion. Analysts were expecting first-quarter earnings of $1.28 a share on revenue of $1.41 billion, and annual earnings of $9.06 a share on sales of $7.24 billion, according to FactSet.

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