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Eman Shurbaji/MEDILL

Ulta stock prices were steady for the past 3 months.

Ulta profits are beautiful

by Eman Shurbaji
Jun 11, 2014

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. stock soared nearly 14 percent Wednesday after the beauty store chain reported strong, better-than-expected first quarter earnings, citing Web sales and prudent management of swelling inventories.

In the quarter ended May 3, net income for the Bolingbrook, Ill.-based retailer rose 19.4 percent to $50 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, from $41.8 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo predicted 67 cents. 


Sales increased 22.5 percent to $713.8 million from $582.7 million.


Same-store sales increased 8.7 percent from the year-ago quarter.

In a press release Wednesday, CEO Mary Dillon said the company continues to expect positive growth.

“The team’s accomplishments included improving retail transactions which turned positive, driving continued momentum in our online business, and managing inventory very well,” Dillon said.

In response to rising sales, merchandise inventories soared 17 percent to $531.4 million.


Analyst Jason Gere of KeyBanc Capital Markets said in a statement, “Positive traffic, early benefits from the new loyalty program and management optimism over the incremental investments being made into the business are reasons for investors to remain favorable on the stock.”

In New York Stock Exchange trading, Ulta shares closed at $97.11, up $11.80, or 13.8 percent.