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Lululemon Profits Surge

Revenues, same-store sales garner big gains.

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Yoga-inspired sportswear firm Lululemon Athletica Inc. had another reason for calm and serenity Thursday as its second-quarter results remained unaffected by current retail woes.

The Vancouver-based retail-vendor hybrid reported that profits for the quarter ended Aug. 3 were up 117.6 percent to $11.1 million, or 16 cents a diluted share, from $5.1 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Sales in the period rose 47.6 percent to $85.5 million from $57.9 million last year. Same-store sales were up 13 percent on a constant-dollar basis, but 18 percent including the impact of currency fluctuation.

On average, analysts expected earnings of 13 cents a diluted share on sales of $88.2 million.

“We are pleased with our financial performance, particularly in light of the current retail environment, and have made notable progress on various initiatives in real estate, systems and people that will support our long-term growth objectives,” said Christine Day, chief executive officer.

For the first half of the year, profits climbed 126.5 percent to $19.6 million, or 27 cents a diluted share, from $8.7 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, last year. Sales in the first six months rose 59.1 percent to $162.4 million from $102 million a year ago.

The company said it is maintaining guidance of yearly earnings per share in the range of 68 cents to 71 cents.

“Their brand is very unique,” said Howard Tubin, director of softlines equity research at RBC Capital Markets. “It’s a relatively new brand to the U.S. If you can offer the customer something new and something different, you can still perform well in the currently difficult retail environment.”

Investors agreed. After a slight dip early in the day, shares of the company climbed 14.4 percent, finishing the session at $20.59, the strongest performer among all the firms tracked by WWD.

Company founder and chairman Dennis “Chip” Wilson said Thursday that he would transfer 625,000 shares of stock to longtime employees of the company. Wilson said on a conference call with analysts that he does not plan on selling any shares of the company for at least three years.