Lululemon Falls After Sterne Analyst Sees Lack of Plan

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) fell the most in more than three months after an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. said the yoga-wear retailer didn’t provide a clear strategy for improving sales at a recent presentation.

The shares fell 5.1 percent to $49.07 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day decline since Jan. 13. Vancouver-based Lululemon has fallen 17 percent this year.

Lululemon has been working to regain shoppers’ loyalty after it recalled one of its most popular styles of pants last year because they became too transparent when wearers bent over. Former Chief Executive Officer Christine Day worked to strengthen the retailer’s product testing after the debacle, and new CEO Laurent Potdevin has said he’ll work on improving the company’s clothing and expanding globally.

The retailer’s managers, speaking in a presentation for analysts and investors last week, didn’t provide specific plans to gain new customers or lure current shoppers into buying more, Sterne Agee’s Sam Poser said in a note yesterday. Poser, who’s based in New York, rates the shares the equivalent of a sell. Lululemon last month said sales at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent on a constant-dollar basis in its fiscal fourth quarter.

“A detailed constructive strategy, beyond the improved product, not just words, is needed to rebuild the aspirational quality of the Lululemon brand,” Poser wrote. “Most of those who do not see the brand as damaged are loyal Lululemon customers, but new customers are needed for the long-term success of both the company and the stock.”

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Orland at Kevin Miller

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