Lululemon Promises Bolder Clothes, Shares Dive on Outlook

By Sara Germano Retail Dow Jones Newswires

(Reuters)

Lululemon Athletica Inc. issued a weak outlook for the current quarter, blaming spring clothing that wasn't colorful enough to entice shoppers to its website or stores.

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"We should have been bolder with the color assortment," Chief Executive Laurent Potdevin said on a call with analysts Wednesday. Lululemon is jazzing up its yoga gear and athleisure apparel to correct the problem, with stores expected to feature the products as soon as next week, he said.

Shares of Lululemon fell 17% to $54.68 in after-hours trading on Wednesday, after the Vancouver-based athletic apparel company said it expects revenue of $510 million to $515 million in the fiscal first quarter, with sales growth at stores open at least a year falling in the low single-digit percentage range.

Lululemon has struggled in the past to produce clothes that appeal to its customers, particularly in a competitive athletic-apparel industry. The company affirmed its long-term revenue goal of $4 billion by 2020.

Its profit for the quarter ended Jan. 29 rose 16% to $136 million, compared with the year-earlier period, while revenue climbed 12% to $789.9 million. Its per-share earnings were 99 cents, slightly below Wall Street's expectations of $1.01, according to analysts polled by FactSet.