Brington Investment Limited - Ulta Beauty Shares Rise After Beat and New CFO

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) shares increased by more than 10% following the company's announcement of third-quarter results that exceeded expectations and an increase in guidance that expressed optimism for the upcoming holiday season.
CENTRAL, Hong Kong - Dec. 18, 2023 - PRLog -- In comparison to the previous year, Ulta's net income increased from $274.6 million or $5.34 per share to $249.5 million or $5.07 per share. Net sales increased 4.5% year-over-year to $2.5 billion, which was marginally higher than expectations. Comparable store sales also increased 4.5%.

The beauty retailer revised its previous estimate of $11.05 billion to $11.15 billion for full-year net sales to between $11.1 billion and $11.15 billion, with comparable sales growth spanning from 5.0% to 5.5%, up from 4.5%. The projected adjusted earnings per share range from $25.20 to $25.60, representing an increase of $0.1 for the lower range.

CEO Dave Kimbell stated on an earnings call with investors that the company anticipates a busier holiday season with increased marketing efforts, but that sales are off to a strong start.

Despite the fact that third-quarter sales in the haircare and cosmetic categories were both flat and declined, respectively, skincare was Ulta's fastest-growing segment with double-digit year-over-year growth. In contrast, the fragrance and bath categories experienced modest double-digit growth.

In spite of economic downturns, the beauty sector has continued to witness robust consumer demand, which has prompted major retailers including Macy's, Target, and Kohl's to augment their beauty product lines. Target has strategically implemented the integration of Ulta Beauty boutiques within its physical locations as a means to leverage the increasing consumer demand for beauty products.

Scott Settersten, the former CFO of Ulta, is retiring after nearly two decades in the position. Senior vice president of finance Paula Oyibo will succeed Settersten.

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