Stocks rally chokes more than key jobs report

Shares of Lululemon ( LULU ) rose about 4% on Thursday after the company raised its full-year profit outlook and boosted its share repurchase program by $1 billion.

Late Wednesday, it sees full-year earnings per share of $14.27 to $14.47, down from a range of $14 to $14.20. It maintained its previously given full-year revenue forecast of $10.7 billion to $10.8 billion.

The report came as investor concerns grew over the company’s slowing sales growth amid growing competition in the athleisure sector. Newer brands like Aloe and Vuri. Ahead of the earnings release, Lululemon shares are down about 40% to start 2024, making it one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 ( ^GSPC ) this year.

“This is the most relief rally you’ll see in the market,” Anisha Sherman, senior analyst at Bernstein, told Yahoo Finance after Lululemon’s release.

Comparable sales in North America were flat in the first quarter, which Sherman noted was largely expected, but remains a concern for investors moving forward.

“The question is, can they make up for it internationally, and they did this quarter,” Sherman said.

Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said the company has made some “wrong opportunities” in its women’s apparel business in the US. For McDonald’s in particular, a narrow color palette in leggings contributed to sales growth. In contrast, McDonald’s noted that male consumers responded well to new introductions in categories such as golf and exercise.

“In terms of the growth potential of this brand, not only internationally, but in all markets, nothing has changed in the U.S.,” McDonald said.

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He added, “These are all under our control. The teams are chasing them and we expect them to be resolved in the second half of the year.”

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