NEW YORK — Lululemon Athletica Inc. is lowering its fiscal fourth-quarter forecasts below analysts’ estimates due to declining sales in January.
The yoga-inspired clothing company’s stock dropped almost 17 percent Monday.
Lululemon now foresees quarterly earnings between 71 cents and 73 cents per share on revenue in a range of $513 million to $518 million. Its prior guidance was for earnings of 78 cents to 80 cents per share on revenue of $535 million to $540 million.
Analysts polled by FactSet predict earnings of 79 cents per share on revenue of $541.2 million for the period ending Feb. 2.
Lululemon also anticipates sales at stores open at least a year to decline by a low- to mid- single digit percentage rate.
Chief Financial Officer John Currie said that since the start of January Lululemon’s sales and traffic slowed “meaningfully.” He said the company was lowering its quarterly guidance based on the recent performance and the assumption that the slowdown would last through the month.
Lululemon is trying to bounce back from a series of embarrassing issues. In the spring it pulled a line of its popular yoga pants from shelves after customers complained they were too sheer, which it blamed on production problems.
Then the Canadian company’s founder, Chip Wilson, angered some people by suggesting larger women’s bodies were to blame for some quality complaints. He said some women’s bodies “just don’t actually work” for the pants and thigh rubbing over time would cause pants to wear out too quickly.
Last month Lululemon said Wilson would step down.