12/11/2014 08:43 EST | Updated 12/11/2014 08:59 EST

Lululemon Profit Falls Less Than Expected, But Darker Clouds On Horizon


VANCOUVER -- Lululemon Athletica inc. is reporting a reduced third-quarter profit of US$60.45 million and less sales growth than anticipated in the run-up to the important holiday shopping season, which is also looking less robust than expected.

The Vancouver-based clothing company's net income was 42 cents US per share, down from 46 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue for the three months ended Nov. 2 was US$419.4 million, up 10 per cent from last year with a growing portion generated by direct to consumer sales. Comparable store sales fell by three per cent after adjusting for currency fluctuations.

The profit for the quarter did beat the Thomson Reuters earnings estimate of 38 cents per share but third-quarter sales were short of the estimated US$424.7 million and fourth-quarter sales and profit also are projected to be less than anticipated.

Lululemon says that its fourth quarter sales will feel a $15-million impact from a combination of factors including West Coast port delays, a lower Canadian dollar and delayed store openings.

The company is estimating between US$570 million and $585 million of revenue for the fourth quarter, which is below the analyst estimate of US$593 million compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The company is estimating its fourth-quarter earnings will be between 65 and 69 cents US per share, which is below the estimate of 72 cents per share.

Lululemon chief executive Laurent Potdevin said that all key facets of its business contributed to improvements that the company experienced as the third quarter progressed.

"I am confident that our strong team, coupled with strategic investments into our core business areas, have already made a positive impact and place us on a strong trajectory for further global growth,'' Potdevin said in a statement.

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