Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, May 10th. The brokerage currently has $336.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Ulta Beauty has comfortably outperformed the broader industry on a year-to-date basis. The company continues to gain from broad merchandise portfolio, rapid growth in loyalty program, solid sales and effective marketing. This aided the company retain its solid surprise trend in fourth-quarter fiscal 2016, wherein it topped earnings and sales estimates for the 13th straight quarter. Its strategy of striking the right balance between online and physical stores provides it an edge over other brick & mortar retailers. The company recorded 56.2% growth in eCommerce comparable sales and 13.4% rise in in-store comps in fiscal 2016. While the beauty retailer retained its tradition of providing conservative guidance, we believe this will help it deliver better-than-expected results. However, the company remains on the back foot due to limited global brand awareness, alongside challenges related to cheaper alternatives and changing consumer preference.”
ULTA has been the topic of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley restated an equal weight rating and issued a $300.00 target price (up from $290.00) on shares of Ulta Beauty in a report on Monday, March 13th. Cowen and Company restated an outperform rating and issued a $311.00 target price (up from $296.00) on shares of Ulta Beauty in a report on Monday, March 13th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and issued a $295.00 target price on shares of Ulta Beauty in a report on Saturday, March 11th. BMO Capital Markets restated a buy rating and issued a $295.00 target price on shares of Ulta Beauty in a report on Saturday, March 11th. Finally, Instinet lifted their price target on Ulta Beauty from $297.00 to $320.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, March 20th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $322.83.
Shares of Ulta Beauty (ULTA) opened at 311.47 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $291.38 and a 200 day moving average price of $274.65. The firm has a market cap of $19.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 43.74 and a beta of 0.65. Ulta Beauty has a 12-month low of $225.13 and a 12-month high of $311.78.
Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 25th. The specialty retailer reported $1.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.79 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.28 billion. Ulta Beauty had a return on equity of 26.87% and a net margin of 8.31%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 22.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.45 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ulta Beauty will post $8.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, CFO Scott M. Settersten sold 11,519 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $282.80, for a total transaction of $3,257,573.20. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 15,222 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,304,781.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Lorna Nagler sold 4,167 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $287.62, for a total value of $1,198,512.54. Following the sale, the director now owns 9,095 shares in the company, valued at $2,615,903.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 150,534 shares of company stock worth $42,979,662. 6.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main purchased a new position in Ulta Beauty during the fourth quarter valued at about $112,000. Fifth Third Bancorp increased its position in Ulta Beauty by 11.2% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 398 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Crestwood Advisors Group LLC purchased a new position in Ulta Beauty during the first quarter valued at about $120,000. Sunbelt Securities Inc. purchased a new position in Ulta Beauty during the fourth quarter valued at about $134,000. Finally, FNY Partners Fund LP purchased a new position in Ulta Beauty during the first quarter valued at about $142,000. 86.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Ulta Beauty
Ulta Beauty, Inc is a holding company for the Ulta Beauty group of companies. The Company is a beauty retailer. The Company offers cosmetics, fragrance, skin, hair care products and salon services. The Company offers approximately 20,000 products from over 500 beauty brands across all categories, including the Company’s own private label.
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