While Wall Street is glued to the headlines about the U.S.-China trade war and the Federal Reserve, there’s one stock that’s been quietly moving higher to new all-time highs: Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU). You might be wondering why a yoga company has been such a strong performer — up over 50% since the start of 2019, in fact. That’s because it’s so much more than “just a yoga company.”
Over the past two decades, Lululemon has led the athleisure fashion movement. The company was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson, who spent the prior 20 years working in the surf, ski and skatewear industries. Lululemon started as a design studio by day and yoga studio at night in Vancouver, Canada. And it became the company’s first standalone store in 2000.
Initially, LULU grew by word of mouth, pop-up shops in yoga studios and brand ambassadors. Now, the company has more than 400 stores across four continents. And for workout buffs who are too busy to drive to their nearest store, there are multiple Lululemon e-commerce sites and mobile apps.
Even as it has grown its global footprint and customer base, Lululemon has kept true to its founding values. It differentiates itself by making some of the highest quality and most comfortable workout clothing that money can buy.
Now, I’m not recommending LULU stock because it made yoga pants mainstream. Rather, the company is expanding into mass sports distribution and capturing market share from big-name athletic apparel companies like Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Under Armour (NYSE:UA).
Strong Earnings Growth Ahead
And it’s been paying off big time.
For its latest quarter, the company posted double-digit earnings and sales growth, as well as topped analysts’ earnings and sales estimates. The company reported 20.4% annual revenue growth and 34.5% annual earnings growth.
Looking forward to the second quarter, company management is forecasting earnings per share of $0.88, a 24.9% year-over-year increase from $0.71, on $843.3 million in sales. This represents a 16.6% rise from the $723.5 million in sales last year. So, clearly, LULU stock is doing well.
In fact, just Monday, the company announced that on Thursday it will be opening its biggest store ever — a whopping 24,000 square foot space. For some perspective, this is about four NBA basketball courts put together. And not only will customers will be able to buy clothes, but they’ll be able to take a break and grab a meal at “Fuel,” a restaurant on the store’s second level.
In the new e-commerce world where Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reigns supreme, it’s important the companies with brick-and-mortar stores provide something a little “extra,” in order to keep customers coming back. This restaurant is a good way for LULU to stand out and keep that traffic coming in.
In the meantime, LULU stock hit a new all-time high of $191.44 on Monday. However, I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. So, I don’t recommend selling it at new highs. In fact, it still sits below my buy limit on my Growth Investor Buy List.
The truth of the matter is that the company continues to see good sales and earnings growth, as well as strong institutional buying pressure, so we know that the “smart money” is still interested, too.
Now, I’m such a fan of LULU stock that it’s my pick for InvestorPlace’s 10 Best Stocks for 2019 contest. (You can read all the details here.) I also recommended it in my Growth Investor service just last year, and it’s sitting on over a 50% return. But that’s just the beginning. To get my latest thoughts on the company, as well as my other latest recommendations, you can sign up here.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of four investing newsletters: Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks, Accelerated Profits and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Growth Investor, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.