When Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) released its fiscal third-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the firm said that it had $2.25 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.68 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for $2.13 in EPS and $1.67 billion in revenue, and the same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $2.18 on revenue of $1.56 billion.
During the quarter, net sales increased 7.9% year over year. Comparable sales increased 3.2%, compared to an increase of 7.8% in the third quarter of last year. The comparable sales increase was driven by 2.3% transaction growth and 0.9% growth in average ticket.
Over the course of the third quarter, the company opened 31 stores and closed three. Ulta Beauty ended the quarter with 1,241 stores.
The company raised its 2019 fiscal year guidance and now expects to see EPS in the range of $11.93 to $12.03, with total sales increasing by 10% and comparable sales in the range of 4.7% to 5.0%. The prior guidance called for EPS of $11.86 to $12.06, total sales increasing 9% to 12% and comparable sales growing 4% to 6%.
Consensus analyst estimates are calling for $11.93 in EPS and $7.44 billion in revenue for the fiscal full year.
CEO Mary Dillon commented:
Our differentiated model is winning in the marketplace. The Ulta Beauty team delivered another quarter of solid top-line performance, gross margin expansion, and EPS growth, despite the current challenges facing the U.S. cosmetics category. We continue to gain market share across all major beauty categories, and we are extending our leadership position by creating stronger connections with our guests and engaging with them in better and more exciting ways.
Shares of Ulta traded at $262.20 early Friday, an 11% gain, in a 52-week range of $222.00 to $368.83. The consensus price target is $278.67.