UPDATE 2-Lululemon profit beats on lower costs, but revenue outlook cut

Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:58am EST
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(Adds stock reaction, analyst's comment, details)

By Solarina Ho

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Yogawear chain Lululemon Athletica Inc reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, driven in part by lower costs, but U.S. port disruptions and delayed store openings took a toll on its revenue outlook.

Shares of the Canadian retailer jumped 10 percent to $51.32 after it reported the results, with investors taking note of an increase in comparable store sales.

Total same-store sales, which include comparable-store and online sales, rose 3 percent year-over-year on a constant-dollar basis in the third quarter. This key measurement was flat in the second quarter. Online sales jumped 27 percent.

The once high-flying stock is still down some 25 percent since March 2013, continuing to feel effects of an embarrassing recall of its signature yoga pants, which were deemed too sheer.

"The improving comparable sales are encouraging. The story for the back half of 2014 is about improving product flow and we're beginning to see it," said Mark Altschwager, an analyst at Baird Equity Research.

"That said, margins remain under intense pressure and new supply chain delays may curb some of the recent momentum."

The Vancouver-based company said fourth quarter revenue will take a roughly $15 million hit from U.S. West Coast port delays, a lower Canadian dollar and delayed store openings. It now expects revenue of $570 million to $585 million for the quarter.   Continued...