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Dec 7, 2017

Lululemon shares rise after topping Q3 expectations

Lululemon CEO betting big on Chinese market

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Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU.O) jumped as much as 7 per cent at the market open Thursday after boosting its forecast, allaying fears that the athleisure market has lost a step.

The yoga-pants maker now expects earnings of as much as US$2.48 a share this year, excluding some items. That compares with a previous range of up to US$2.42. Lululemon also topped analysts’ estimates with its third-quarter sales and profit.

The upbeat results give Lululemon fresh momentum as it heads into the crucial holiday season -- and signal that sporty apparel isn’t falling out of favor with consumers. Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc. have seen sales stall this year, stoking fears that peers like Lululemon will suffer as well. But Chief Executive Officer Laurent Potdevin has been working to keep the company growing by adding new products and entering overseas markets.

“As we start the holiday season, I’m energized by our momentum,” Potdevin said in a statement. “We are increasing guidance to reflect this performance.”

The shares rose as high as US$72.80 in extended trading on Wednesday. They had risen 4.1 per cent this year through the close.

Third-quarter earnings amounted to 56 cents, excluding certain items. That topped the 52-cent estimate. Comparable sales grew 8 per cent, beating the 5.2 per cent average estimate compiled by Consensus Metrix.