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Ulta Beauty Draws Down Credit Line; Re-Evaluating Stock Buybacks

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 24, 2020 at 9:52AM

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The chain has been impacted by the coronavirus and has had to close its stores (but it's open for business online).

Ulta Beauty (ULTA -1.43%) has seen its brick-and-mortar stores temporarily closed due to coronavirus. The beauty retailer remains open for business online but it's making some proactive moves to shore up its finances to cover losses due to the current pandemic.

The retailer recently drew down $800 million of its revolving credit facility "as a precautionary measure and to enhance financial flexibility," according to a press release. It has also decided to reevaluate "the pace and timing of its stock repurchase program." 

A variety of makeup and brushes are laid out.

Ulta Beauty remains open online. Image source: Getty Images.

How are Ulta's finances?

Ulta Beauty has $1.3 billion in cash on hand, which includes the money it just borrowed, as of March 18. It also plans to slow down capital expenditures and adjust its inventory.

"To help best position the business through this rapidly changing and uncertain environment, we have begun to proactively take actions to increase our financial flexibility," said CEO Mary Dillon. "We are well-capitalized, and I am confident that our financial strength, our differentiated business model, and our unwavering commitment to keeping our associates and guests at the center of every decision we make will enable us to successfully navigate through this challenging period."

These are smart moves

Ulta Beauty, like many retailers, currently faces the unknown. This crisis may pass in weeks or it could linger for months. It also remains unknown as to how much of a coronavirus hangover the economy will have, especially as it applies to discretionary spending.

Dillon has made the right moves to capitalize her company and conserve cash. That's the smart play until time passes and the overall impact of the coronavirus becomes more clear.

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