While H&M Is Expanding Lululemon Is Shrinking

After a year of bad press and increasing heat from competitors, Lululemon has set out on a slow road to recovery. Case in point: The athletic retailer posted fourth quarter income Thursday morning that was nearly identical to what it brought in at the same time last year, $109.7 million today versus $109.7 million in 2012.

Net revenue for 2013 saw a 16 percent bump from 2012, up $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion. Comparable store sales increased just 4 percent over the course of the year. The retailer is forecasting first quarter results that are lower than expected.

With that in mind, analysts and investors are split on how to look at Lululemon. As MarketWatch reported, J.P. Morgan analyst Brian Tunick is calling it “the single most controversial stock in our universe.”

Big words, but not unfair. CEO Laurent Potdevin, formerly of Toms footwear, took over the reins in January, providing hope for a turnaround, and the brand debuted a new line of post-workout wear in mid-March.

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