While Wall Street is trying to coast into the holiday weekend with some decent gains for the week, it's not going to be a pretty day for Ulta Beauty (ULTA) stock. Shares closed lower by 29.55% at $237.73 on Friday, hitting new 2019 lows in the process.
Surprisingly, the stock is not making new 52-week lows, which came in December.
Driving the pain trade on Friday is the reaction to earnings. Earnings of $2.72 per share missed estimates by 8 cents per share. Revenue of $1.67 billion grew 12.1% year over year, but missed analysts' estimates by $10 million. Worse, comparable-store sales growth of "just" 6.2% missed estimates of 6.7% growth.
It keeps getting worse, though.
Gross margins missed estimates, too, while also declining year over year. Finally, management made a deep cut to full-year profit, now expecting earnings in a range of $11.86 to $12.06 per share, down significantly from its prior range of $12.83 to $13.03 per share.
Management's midpoint of the new earnings outlook (at $11.96 per share) is 7.5% below its prior midpoint (at $12.93 per share), and well below consensus estimates at $12.97 per share.
No wonder shares are being hammered so relentlessly on Friday. As if all of the fundamental news wasn't bad enough, the technicals are falling apart too.
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Trading Ulta Beauty Stock
Cheesy jokes aside, this chart does need some makeup. Ulta Beauty stock plunged through so many important levels and moving averages, it's hard to keep track. Most notably, shares barreled below all three of its major one-year retracements -- the 38.2%, 50% and 61.8% -- as well as the 50-week and 200-week moving averages.
The latter has been notable support for a while now and short of a late-session recovery, Ulta stock has surged right below it. So what now?
Ulta Beauty stock is sort of in no man's land now. On the upside, bulls need to see Ulta rally up and over the $260 mark. In doing so, it can reclaim both the 200-week moving average and a notable retracement.
If it can't reclaim this area or rallies up to them and finds them to be resistance, bears can remain in control of the stock price.
On the downside, I am looking to see if Ulta Beauty stock will decline to $230, a significant level over the past few years. A slight overshoot could send it to the 52-week lows at $224.43.
Shares are now becoming technically oversold according to the RSI reading (blue circle). The last time that happened was in August of 2017. While a short-term bounce ensued, the stock went on to make lower lows in the fourth quarter. Will history repeat with Ulta stock?
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.