Lululemon cuts forecast as sales dip in January

January 13, 2014

* Expects 4th-qtr net revenue $513 mln-$518 mln, down from $535 mln-$540 mln

* Forecasts earnings of 71-73 cents/ share, down from 78-80 cents

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Upscale yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc cut its current-quarter forecast after sales declined in the first two weeks of January.

The company said on Monday it expects net revenue to range between $513 million and $518 million for the quarter ending Feb. 2, down from $535 million to $540 million earlier.

Lululemon, which is struggling with an embarrassing recall of some of its signature black pants in March, expects to earn between 71 cents and 73 cents per share. The company had earlier forecast earnings of between 78 cents and 80 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 79 cents on revenue of $541.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

""We were on track to deliver on our sales and earnings guidance through the month of December; since the beginning of January, we have seen traffic and sales trends decelerate meaningfully," Chief Financial Officer John Currie said in a statement.

The retailer warned in December that fewer customers visiting its stores would hit its sales in the crucial fourth quarter, underscoring the impact of the recall.

The company now expects comparable-store sales to decline in low-to-mid-single digits on a percentage basis, compared to its earlier forecast of flat sales.

Lululemon shares, which have fallen about 11 percent since the March recall, closed at $59.60 on the Nasdaq on Friday.