By Claudia Assis
Ulta Beauty Inc. shares rose 5% in the extended session Thursday after the specialty retailer reported sales and profit well above Wall Street expectations and raised its guidance for the year, saying the results showed the “strength and resiliency of the beauty category.”
Ulta /zigman2/quotes/210513442/composite ULTA +2.62% said it earned $215.3 million, or $3.94 a share, in the fiscal third quarter, compared with $74.8 million, or $1.32 a share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Adjusted for one-time items, Ulta earned $1.64 a share.
Sales rose 29% to $2 billion, compared with $1.6 billion a year ago. The company pinned the increase to “favorable impact from stronger consumer confidence and fewer COVID-19 restrictions” compared with the year-ago quarter.
FactSet consensus called for EPS of $2.48 on sales of $1.89 billion.
Same-store sales rose 26% in the quarter, compared with a 9% drop in the third quarter of 2020, Ulta said. Compared with the 2019 quarter, comparable-store sales rose 14%, the company said.
“This strong third-quarter performance reflects the strength and resiliency of the beauty category, the power of the Ulta Beauty differentiated model, and the impact of our winning culture and team,” Chief Executive Dave Kimbell said in a statement.
The retailer guided for full-year revenue between $8.5 billion and $8.6 billion, compared with a prior guidance of revenue between $8.1 billion and $8.3 billion.
It called for a same-store sales rise between 36% and 37%, versus a previous guidance of between 30% and 32%. It pegged EPS between $16.70 and $17.10 for the year, from a previous expectation of EPS between $14.50 and $14.70.
Ulta said its merchandise inventories totaled $1.92 billion at the end of the quarter, compared with $1.44 billion a year ago.
The increase was due to the addition of 40 net new stores opened since October 2020, and “the acceleration of inventory receipts to support expected demand and mitigate anticipated global supply-chain disruptions.”
Share of Ulta Beauty have gained about 34% this year, compared with gains of around 22% for the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.52% in the same period.