Why Ulta Earnings Are Beautiful

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) released its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The firm posted $3.61 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.12 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $3.56 in EPS on revenue $2.1 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $3.40 and $1.94 billion in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, net sales increased 9.7%, while comparable sales increased 9.4%. Overall, the comparable sales increase was driven by 7.1% transaction growth and 2.3% growth in average ticket.

Retail comparable sales increased 7.0%, including salon comparable sales growth of 6.2%. And e-commerce comparable sales increased 25.1%.

Looking ahead to the full year, the firm expects to increase total sales in the double digits while delivering EPS in the range of $12.65 to $12.85. Consensus estimates call for $12.75 in EPS and $7.51 billion in revenue.

Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta, commented:

The Ulta Beauty team delivered excellent results in the fourth quarter. This performance reflects an acceleration in comparable sales in our retail stores, primarily driven by traffic. We continued to gain significant share across all major categories, particularly with digitally native brands where Ulta Beauty is often the only point of distribution in brick and mortar. Solid execution by our merchandising, store operations, e-commerce, marketing, supply chain and systems teams drove healthy sales growth and a differentiated guest experience throughout the important holiday season

Shares of Ulta traded up more than 7% early Friday to $335.97, in a new 52-week range of $199.15 to 336.69. The consensus price target is $329.10.