Lululemon raises 4Q forecast

the Associated Press

Lululemon Athletica Inc. raised its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings guidance on Monday, after a strong holiday shopping season.

The yoga-inspired clothing company's forecast, however, remained below analysts' expectations and its shares sank in after-hours trading.

Lululemon expects to earn 74 cents per share for the quarter that ends Feb. 3. Its previous guidance was earnings of 71 to 73 cents per share. It anticipates revenue will be at the high end of its original guidance range of $475 million to $480 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings of 74 cents per share on revenue of $489 million.

The company sees sales at stores open at least a year rising in high single digits, on a percentage basis.

CEO Christine Day noted that the company's gross margin is running slightly ahead of plan and the company is entering 2013 in a clean inventory position.

Shares of the Canadian company fell $4.99, or 6.9 percent, to $67.31 in after-hours trading. The stock rose $1.46 to close at $72.30 in the regular session.