May 31, 2018 / 8:30 PM / 19 days ago

Lululemon shares hit record as first-quarter profit beats expectations

(Reuters) - Canadian athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O) posted first-quarter profit that beat expectations on Thursday as revenue jumped 25 percent, sending the company’s shares to an all-time high in after-hours trade.

The logo for Lululemon Athletica is seen outside a retail store in New York City, U.S., March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Second-quarter earnings are expected to be between 46 and 48 cents per share on revenue of $660 million to $665 million, the Vancouver-based company said in a statement. That compares with per-share adjusted earnings of 39 cents on revenue of $581.05 million a year earlier.

The stock surged 6.2 percent to $111.51 in after-hours trading, surpassing an intraday record set on Tuesday. That followed a 0.55 percent decline during the day, as the broader S&P 500 index dropped 0.7 percent.

Lululemon, which popularized “athleisure wear” by turning pricey women’s yoga wear into mainstream fashion, is navigating a move by consumers to online shopping and growing competition from rivals including Under Armour Inc (UAA.N) and Nike Inc (NKE.N). It has fought back by investing in its e-commerce platform and expanding its men’s offerings.

A 62 percent increase in revenues from its direct-to-consumer business, which includes online sales, helped drive earnings to 55 cents per share in the quarter ended April 29, compared with analyst estimates of 46 cents, and up from 23 cents a share a year earlier.

Revenue increased to $649.7 million, up from $520.3 million a year ago. Analysts had expected $617.7 million.

The company did not provide an update in the statement about its search for a new chief executive officer following Laurent Potdevin’s abrupt departure in February on undisclosed charges of misconduct.

Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker

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