Lululemon Athletica Inc. shares were slammed to the yoga mat on Thursday, following a downgrade by an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. Lizabeth Dunn cut her recommendation on the yoga-wear retailer to "underperform" from "market perform" but held her price target steady at $80 (U.S.).
According to the Associated Press, Ms. Dunn believes that the shares are priced to perfection. Sure, investors know about the inventory issues holding back Lululemon's sales this year, but will be focused instead on the company's outlook when it reports its fiscal first quarter results on June 10. Any slip-up and the shares could tank.
According to Bloomberg, analysts estimate that Lululemon will report net earnings of 38.5 cents a share, down from the fourth quarter but significantly higher than the first quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile, Paul Lejuez, an analyst at Nomura maintained a "reduce" rating on the stock along with the low-low target of just $47.
Make no mistake, this isn't an easy stock to cast doubts on. Despite struggling in the spring, Lululemon shares have mocked the naysayers, rising 36.5 per cent in 2011 and 143 per cent over the past 12 months. They aren't cheap, though: They trade at 55 times trailing earnings and 46 times estimated earnings.