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Lululemon's positive growth could offset Coronavirus' impact on today's earnings report

1 week ago by Julia Gray in Earnings

Lululemon ($NASDAQ:LULU) is set to report its 2019 fourth-quarter fiscal results after market close. The yoga and athletic apparel company beat estimates with positive earnings last quarter, and today’s report is expected to be even better.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate has Lululemon’s fourth-quarter earnings at $2.25, 21.6% higher than last year’s reported figure. Over the last week, earnings estimates have increased by a penny, a small amount but a good sign. The consensus estimate for fiscal fourth-quarter sales is at $1,375 million, up 18.4% from last quarter.

Our data on Lulu suggests some growing pains, but growth nonetheless. Lululemon’s average discount has been rising since last year, increasing from 32% back in September to 42% by the start of 2020. But that number has been dropping a little each month since January, now at 39%. 

There’s a similar trend in the company’s count of sale items. The number shot up from 506 in September to 1,120 in January, a staggering 121% increase. And just as it was beginning to drop, the number jumped from 854 to 1,000 with the start of quarantine earlier this month.

It’s likely that this slight surge was just an opportunistic response to customers’ newly homebound workout routines rather than a choice made out of necessity. With the count of sales items is back down to 743 this week, Lulu is on the right track.

That said, Lululemon’s fourth-quarter report will likely be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in China, which slowed manufacturing in January. But the impact could be offset by positive growth elsewhere in the company.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Julia Gray

Julia is Thinknum's Innovation Editor. She also writes about music, art, and culture for the Washington Post, Playboy, Stereogum, Uproxx, and Paper Magazine.

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