Ulta posts sales gains and higher than expected earnings
American cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty, Inc. announced increased sales and diluted earnings per share for the third quarter on Thursday, beating analysts’ expectations and sending shares in the company up 8% in the extended session.
For the third quarter ended November 2, 2019, the Bolingbrook, Illinois-based retailer reported net sales of $1.68 billion, up 7.9% from $1.56 billion in the prior-year period, while comparable sales rose 3.2%.
The company’s net income for the quarter was $129.7 million, down from $131.2 million, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) totaling $2.25, up 3.2% from $2.18 in the third quarter of fiscal 2018.
Analysts polled by FactSet and cited by MarketWatch had expected Ulta to achieve EPS of $2.13 on sales of $1.7 billion.
“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,” said Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon in a release. “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.”
Year to date, Ulta announced net sales of $5.09 billion, an increase of 10.9% compared to the $4.59 billion reported by the company in the same period in the previous year. Comparable sales increased 5.4%.
Net income for the period was $483.2 million, or $8.27 per diluted share, compared to $443.9 million, or $7.35 per diluted share, in the first nine months of fiscal 2018.
In line with its latest quarterly results, Ulta has also updated its full-year outlook for fiscal 2019. The company now expects total sales to increase around 10%, compared to a previous guidance predicting a rise of between 9% and 12%. Comparable sales growth is predicted to be in the range of 4.7% to 5.0%, including e-commerce growth of between 20% and 30%.
Annual diluted EPS is predicted to be in the range of $11.93 to $12.03, compared to a previous guidance of $11.86 to $12.06.
In the third quarter, Ulta opened 31 stores and closed three, finishing the period with a total of 1,241 locations. The company expects to have opened a total of around 80 new stores by the end of the year.
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