Why Ulta Shares Were Looking Appealing

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics, & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA  ) were looking stunning today, jumping as much as 17% after a strong earnings report.

So what: The all-in-one beauty retailer said sales jumped 22.9% to $582.7 million, while earnings per share increased 20.4% to $0.65. Both numbers topped expectations as analysts had projected sales at $576.3 million, and EPS of $0.62. Same-stores sales ticked up 6.7% for the beauty chain, which includes strong e-commerce growth, but comps were down from 10.1% a year ago. Interim CEO Dennis Eck said, "We are pleased with better-than-expected sales and margin performance," and said the company was on track to add 125 new stores this year, increasing the store count by more than 25%.

Now what: Notably, guidance for the current quarter was actually below estimates, with management projecting EPS of $0.64-$0.67, against estimates of $0.68, and revenue of $579 million to $589 million, versus the analyst consensus at $590.3 million. Same-store growth is also expected to drop to 4%-6% in the current quarter. This is a pricy stock with a P/E of 36, and while its aggressive store expansion will ensure additional revenue, the margin compression and slowdown in comparable sales is concerning. I wouldn't expect many more days like this for Ulta shares.

Don't miss the next update on Ulta. Add the company to your Watchlist by clicking right here.


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