Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) shares surged to a record high Friday after the activewear clothing make posted stronger-than-expected second quarter profits as it ramped up sales in China.
Lululemon said net income for the three months ending in July rose more than 96% from the same period last year to $95.8 million, or 71 cents a share, handily beating the consensus forecast of $65.8 million. Group revenues rose 25% to $724 million, the company said, and its growth in both online and Asia-based sales should bring full-year earnings into the range of $3.45 to $3.53 per share.
"We all would agree, and when I was looking outside in that, we have a real big opportunity internationally, in particular in Asia, and it's one that the team feels is a growth potential, just proportionate growth for this business and brand," said new CEO Calvin McDonald. "Experiential, how our stores are more experiential than they are today. The loyalty ecosystem, how the guest loves the brand today but how can we build upon that in an even more innovative way."
Lululemon shares were marked 13.09% higher at $154.93 each in early New York trading, a record high that would take the Vancouver, British Colombia-based group's year-to-date gain past 95%.
Asia sales rose 55% on a comparable basis, Lululemon said, thanks in part to a 200 percent surge in sales through its new China e-commerce platform.
"In Asia, to start with, we ended the quarter with a 50% combined comp, really seeing strong momentum in both stores and digital, which is good to see and makes us feel good about the momentum we also have going into Q3," said Lululemon's Celeste Burgoyne. "In China, we launched our WeChat store, which we're really happy with the initial results. And we have an aggressive plan for how digital will lead us into the future in China, specifically."
TheStreet's technical expert, Bruce Kamich, flagged the stock's performance earlier this week in a note for readers of our Real Money platform.
"Lululemon might suffer a short-term shake-out or dip but the overall technical picture suggests we could see higher prices in the weeks and months ahead," Kamich argued. "The $160 area is our upside price target and longs should risk below $125 for traders and below $119 for investors."