Do Analysts Think Ulta Is the Perfect Retail Stock?

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In each of the past two quarters, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) has crushed estimates and watched its share price climb. Between February 1 and March 10, however, shares fell 9.5% before scoring a big comeback on Friday to post a new 52-week high, up more than 17% on the day after reporting earnings.

The company posted $1.69 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.27 billion in revenue, which compared to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates that called for $1.54 in EPS on revenue of $1.23 billion. A year ago, Ulta rang up $1.35 in EPS on $1.05 billion in revenue.

The company also accelerated its stock buyback plan, another investor favorite.

Analysts have reacted positively to Ulta’s performance and several have pushed their price targets north of $200 a share. Here are some recent changes:

  • Baird raised its price target to $215 with a rating of Outperform.
  • Cowen upped its price target to $206 and also rates the stock Outperform.
  • Deutsche Bank raised its price target to $178 with a Hold rating.
  • Goldman Sachs rates the stock Neutral, but it raised its price target to $202.
  • Jefferies raised its price target to $180 and kept a Hold rating on the shares.
  • JPMorgan boosted its price target from $215 to $231.
  • Nomura raised its price target from $182 to $189 with a Buy rating.
  • Raymond James lifted its price target to $215 with a Strong Buy rating.
  • RBC raised its price target to $180 with a Sector Perform rating.

The stock closed at $191.62 on Friday, after posting a new 52-week high of $192.06. The 52-week low is $120.39 and the consensus price target is $190.61, although the most recent changes may not be included in the calculation yet. The high target is $225 and the low is $165.