NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Lululemon Athletica ( LULU) lifted its outlook after Tuesday's closing bell, citing surprising strength in both its retail and e-commerce operations. The Canadian athletic apparel seller said it now sees earnings of 55 to 57 cents a share for its fiscal fourth quarter ending on Jan. 31 on revenue of $237 million to $239 million, compared to a prior projection for a profit of 46 to 48 cents a share on revenue ranging from $210 million to $215 million. The current average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $221.3 million in the January period.
The stock more than doubled in 2010 and it was surging in after-hours action following the bullish forecast. Shares were last quoted at $72.12, up 7.3%, on volume of 530,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Although the stock has pulled back slightly since hitting a 52-week high of $74.60 on Dec. 20, it remains well above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of $64.03 and $47.12 respectively. Lululemon said same-store sales have been a bright spot in the quarter so far as it now sees a percentage increase in the mid-to-upper-twenties vs. a prior expectation for growth in the high teens. The company currently operates more than 100 retail locations in the United States and Canada, and it stuck by plans to open 20-25 more stores in fiscal 2011. "We will be chasing inventory for the remainder of the fourth quarter and into the spring season, and in the near term will be focused once again on matching supply with demand," said Christine Day, the company's CEO, in a statement. Lululemon has a strong track record for surpassing analysts expectations for its quarterly results. The company has topped the consensus view for the past eight quarters, beating estimates by an average of 27% over that period. Of the 19 analysts covering the company, 11 are at hold, 2 are at strong buy, 4 are at buy, 1 is at underperform and 1 is at sell. The current median 12-month price target is $65. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com