Why Ulta Salon Shares Looked Stunning Today

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 beauty retailer Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA  ) surged 17% today after its quarterly results easily topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has been sluggish in recent weeks on concerns over declining profitability, but today's blowout second-quarter results -- adjusted earnings surged 30% on a 25% jump in sales -- are quickly easing those worries. In fact, same-store sales increased a solid 8.4% while gross margins expanded 50 basis points, giving analysts plenty of optimism about Ulta's competitive positioning and store growth potential going forward.

Now what: Management now sees third-quarter EPS of $0.71 to $0.74 on revenue of $613 million to $623 million, with same-store sales expected to grow in the range of 5% to 7%. "I am incredibly excited about the future potential of Ulta Beauty, and I look forward to working with the team to build on the solid foundation they have built," said CEO Mary Dillon. Of course, with the stock now up more than 60% from its 52-week lows and trading at a forward P/E of about 30, much of that potential may already be baked into the price. 

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