Lululemon Athletica (LULU) Shares Gap Up Following Analyst Upgrade

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Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) shares gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday after Zacks Investment Research upgraded the stock from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. The stock had previously closed at $155.78, but opened at $154.54. Zacks Investment Research now has a $181.00 price target on the stock. Lululemon Athletica shares last traded at $158.85, with a volume of 146718 shares trading hands.

According to Zacks, “lululemon has surpassed the industry in the past three months attributable to a robust surprise trend driven by the progress on its strategy for 2020 with stringent focus on digital and international growth. Second-quarter fiscal 2018 marked its sixth consecutive earnings beat and 11th straight positive sales surprise. Results reflected broad-based growth across all categories, channels and geographies. The company also witnessed significant comps growth driven by traffic growth across channels, led by the success of its strategy to acquire guests. The company expects the momentum from the first and second quarters of fiscal 2018 to continue in the fiscal third quarter. Consequently, management provided a solid view for the fiscal third quarter and raised its guidance for fiscal 2018. However, stiff competition and volatile consumer spending patterns may pose concerns. The rise in competition has been a threat to margins.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on LULU. Wedbush initiated coverage on shares of Lululemon Athletica in a research note on Thursday, May 10th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 target price on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine raised shares of Lululemon Athletica from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 14th. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Lululemon Athletica from $47.00 to $114.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on shares of Lululemon Athletica from $81.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 22nd. Finally, Oppenheimer boosted their target price on shares of Lululemon Athletica from $90.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 29th. Fifteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $143.19.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of LULU. Global X Management Co. LLC grew its stake in shares of Lululemon Athletica by 18.7% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 4,669 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $416,000 after purchasing an additional 736 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of Lululemon Athletica by 484.9% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 523,695 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $46,672,000 after purchasing an additional 434,157 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Lululemon Athletica in the first quarter worth $277,000. Westpac Banking Corp grew its stake in shares of Lululemon Athletica by 51.8% in the first quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 9,897 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $882,000 after purchasing an additional 3,377 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametrica Management Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Lululemon Athletica in the first quarter worth $310,000. 77.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The company has a market capitalization of $21.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 58.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.69 and a beta of 0.09.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 30th. The apparel retailer reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.22. The company had revenue of $723.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $669.14 million. Lululemon Athletica had a net margin of 11.97% and a return on equity of 28.67%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.39 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Lululemon Athletica inc. will post 3.55 EPS for the current year.

About Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU)

lululemon athletica inc., an athletic apparel company, together with its subsidiaries, designs, distributes, and retails athletic apparel and accessories for women, men, and female youth. It operates through two segments, Company-Operated Stores and Direct to Consumer. The company offers pants, shorts, tops, and jackets for healthy lifestyle and athletic activities, such as yoga, running, and training, as well as other sweaty pursuits; and athletic wear for female youth.

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