On March 26, Lululemon Athletica reported fourth quarter and full-year earnings for fiscal 2019 (period ended February 2, 2020) that had some bright spots, though shares of LULU initially traded down on March 27. While the company beat on both the top- and bottom-lines, investors are growing increasingly worried about the performance of discretionary consumer goods companies in the face of the ongoing novel coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. In fiscal 2019, Lululemon’s GAAP revenues rose 21% year-over-year and its GAAP gross margin climbed by ~65 basis points, with its financial performance supported by rising direct-to-consumer sales (up 35% year-over-year) which tend to command higher gross margins. Adjusted comparable sales rose by 9% year-over-year in fiscal 2019 (keeping in mind there was an extra week of sales in fiscal 2018), a growth rate that rises to 10% on a constant-currency basis.
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