Ulta Beauty Blows Past Estimates, Raises Forecast

Ulta says first-quarter revenue jumped on reopenings and stimulus checks.
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Ulta Beauty Inc  (ULTA) - Get Report blew past analyst revenue and earnings estimates and raised its full-year forecast as economic reopenings and stimulus checks boosted sales in its fiscal first quarter.

After the bell Thursday, the company reported diluted earnings per share of $4.10 on revenue of $1.94 billion vs. a loss of $1.39 a share on revenue of $1.17 billion in the same period a year ago. The results included a 3-cents-a-share benefit from income tax accounting for share-based compensation.

The company had been expected to report earnings of $1.99 a share, on sales of $1.7 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 26 analysts.

“The net sales increase during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 was primarily due to the favorable impact in the U.S. from improving consumer confidence, government stimulus payments and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions,” the company said in a statement.

Ulta raised its full-year comparable-sales growth forecast to 23% to 25% from a previous forecast of 15% to 17%. It forecast full-year diluted earnings per share of $11.50 to $11.95 from a previous forecast of $8.85 to $9.30.

The company said it repurchased 1.24 million shares of its common stock during the quarter at a cost of $392.3 million. It said as of May 1, it still had $1.1 billion available under the $1.6 billion share repurchase program announced in March of 2020.

“The Ulta Beauty team delivered an outstanding start to the year, with sales and earnings exceeding fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2019 first quarter levels,” said Mary Dillon, CEO, in the statement.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2021, the Company repurchased 1,243,209 shares of its common stock at a cost of $392.3 million. As of May 1, 2021, $1.1 billion remained available under the $1.6 billion share repurchase program announced in March 2020.

Shares of Ulta rose $15.39, or 4.7%, to $343.75 in after-hours trading. 

In March, at the time of its last financial report, Ulta named the company’s president, Dave Kimbell to succeed current CEO Mary Dillon later this year.

Earlier this month, rival beauty products retailer Sally Beauty  (SBH) - Get Report reported better-than-expected results.