Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) reported its fourth quarter financial results after market close on Thursday. The beauty retailer surpassed expectations for the quarter, sending shares 9% higher on Friday morning.
For the fourth quarter, Ulta reported earnings of USD 3.61 per share on revenue of USD 2.12 Billion. Refinitiv analysts expected earnings of USD 3.56 per share on revenue of USD 2.11 Billion.
Ulta reported that net sales increased by 9.7% for the quarter, driven by its comparable sales increase of 9.4%. The comparable sales growth was primarily propelled by Ulta’s transaction growth of 7.1% and a 2.3% increase in average ticket.
Retail comparable sales rose by 7.0%, including a salon comparable sales growth of 6.2%. E-commerce comparable sales jumped by 25.1%, representing a 240 basis points of the Utla’s total comparable sales increase.
New brand products launched by celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and YouTuber James Charles drove more customer traffic in-stores, helping Ulta beat its quarterly estimates. In the quarter, Utla launched an exclusive deal for Jenner’s cosmetic line. The popular brand is valued at approximately USD 800 Million and has continually increased customers inflow as well as investors for the Company.
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered excellent results in the fourth quarter,” said Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer. “This performance reflects an acceleration in comparable sales in our retail stores, primarily driven by traffic. We continued to gain significant share across all major categories, particularly with digitally native brands where Ulta Beauty is often the only point of distribution in brick and mortar. Solid execution by our merchandising, store operations, e-commerce, marketing, supply chain and systems teams drove healthy sales growth and a differentiated guest experience throughout the important holiday season.”
For fiscal 2019, Ulta expects to increase total sales in the low single digit percentage range, driven by comparable sales growth of 6% to 7%, including e-commerce growth of 20% to 30%. The Company also expects to deliver diluted earnings per share in the range of USD 12.65 to USD 12.85.
Ulta shares have now increased by 38.72% this year so far.