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Ulta Beauty posts glowing 2Q following early-week stock slump

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Aug 24, 2017
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Ulta Beauty reported on Thursday another positive second quarter that included a 20.6% increase in net sales to $1,289.9 million, an 11.7% increase in comparable sales, a 26.9% increase in net income to $114.2 million and a 28.0% increase in income per diluted share $1.83.
 

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Ulta’s second quarter put a close on the beauty retailer’s positive first half of its fiscal year. Net sales for the period increased 21.6% to $2,604.7 million from $2,142.9 million and comparable sales increased 13.0% versus a 14.8% increase in the prior year’s comparable period. Net income for the first six months increased 33.2% to $242.4 million and income per diluted share jumped 34.3% to $3.88.
 
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered another quarter of excellent performance with strong top line growth coupled with robust margin expansion,” said Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer. “We accelerated our market share gains while continuing to reduce promotional intensity and increase personalized offers through our industry leading loyalty program.

Although Ulta posted glowing numbers, Wall Street analysts are timid about the beauty company's success. Ulta’s shares fell on Monday after analysts cut the company’s stock price target with the belief that the beauty category is slowing down. Mark Astrachan and analysts said, "Numerous data points suggest U.S. beauty category growth slowed in 2Q17, including from retailers Macy's and Sephora, beauty companies L'Oréal and e.l.f. Beauty and scanner data measuring sales trends in food, drug, and mass channels."
 
Also, e-commerce juggernaut Amazon is rearing its head into the beauty sector, attracting L’Oreal, which said it is open to the idea of selling on Amazon, and Estee Lauder, which did not deny the possibility of selling products on Amazon.
 
Ulta seems to be unfazed by analysts and Amazon, increasing its fiscal year guidance and now expecting to achieve 10% to 11% comparable sales growth, and 50% to 60% e-commerce sales growth. The company also continues to plan to open 100 stores in the year.
 
For the third quarter, Ulta expects net sales to be in range of $1,331 million and $1,353 million, comparable sales to increase 9% to 11% and income per diluted share to be in range of $1.63 and $1.68.

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