Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Monday morning. They currently have $81.00 target price on the apparel retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Lululemon has outperformed the industry in the past three months mainly attributable to robust surprise trend driven by progress on its strategy for 2020 and focus on ivivva’s remodeling. While third-quarter fiscal 2017 marked the company’s third consecutive earnings beat, sales topped estimates for the eighth straight quarter. Results were driven by consumers’ favorable response to Lululemon’s product innovations, solid direct-to-consumer sales, focus on supply chain initiatives and commitment to long-term strategy. Further, comps improved driven by strength in e-commerce. These factors along with solid initial holiday season momentum across business channels led the company to provide an encouraging view for the fourth quarter and raise guidance for fiscal 2017. However, stiff competition and volatile consumer spending patterns may pose concerns. The rise in competition has been a threat to margins.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on LULU. Needham & Company LLC set a $69.00 target price on shares of lululemon athletica and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of lululemon athletica to $78.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of lululemon athletica in a report on Friday, August 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of lululemon athletica in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on shares of lululemon athletica from $66.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $70.18.

Shares of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) opened at $74.78 on Monday. lululemon athletica has a fifty-two week low of $47.26 and a fifty-two week high of $75.95. The firm has a market cap of $10,043.92, a PE ratio of 32.68, a PEG ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 0.19.

lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, December 6th. The apparel retailer reported $0.56 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.04. lululemon athletica had a net margin of 10.96% and a return on equity of 22.52%. The firm had revenue of $619.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $610.56 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that lululemon athletica will post 2.48 EPS for the current year.

lululemon athletica announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, December 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the apparel retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LULU. IHT Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in lululemon athletica by 591.0% in the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,382 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 1,182 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation boosted its position in lululemon athletica by 183.2% in the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,096 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 1,356 shares during the period. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its position in lululemon athletica by 39.7% in the 2nd quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 2,532 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 719 shares during the period. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC purchased a new stake in lululemon athletica in the 3rd quarter valued at about $156,000. Finally, Oakbrook Investments LLC purchased a new stake in shares of lululemon athletica in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $202,000. 79.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About lululemon athletica

lululemon athletica inc. is a designer, distributor and retailer of athletic apparel. The Company operates through two segments: Company-operated stores and Direct to consumer. It is also engaged in the sale from outlets, showrooms, sales from temporary locations, sales to wholesale accounts, warehouse sales, and license and supply arrangements.

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