Solid Q4 for Ulta Beauty, but weak guidance sees shares drop

- Last updated on GMT

Solid Q4 for Ulta Beauty, but weak guidance sees shares drop

Related tags: Million.comparable store sales, Revenue

Cosmetics and fragrance player Ulta Beauty posted strong fourth quarter 2012 results with a big boost in sales, however expected earnings are expected to be below Wall Street predictions and this has seen shares down 17 percent.

Net sales increased a huge 30.3 percent to $758.8 million from $582.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, helping net sales for the year increase 25 percent to $2,220.3 million.

Comparable store sales increased eight percent compared to an increase of 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

For Q4, Ulta reported net income of $64.5 million compared to $46.3 million in last year's corresponding period, which was up on expectations.

Strong performance

Dennis Eck, Interim CEO, stated, “The Ulta team achieved strong fourth quarter results to complete an exceptional year in 2012.”

“Excellent execution of our multi-year growth strategy was evident in the milestones achieved during the year: we increased square footage by 23 percent with the addition of 101 net new stores, we greatly enhanced our offering with newness across the board, we implemented a new Customer Relationship Management platform, broadened our marketing reach and brand awareness, and improved our digital capabilities including rapid growth in our e-commerce business.”

Weak guidance

However, despite all the positives coming out of the Illinois-based firm, the company’s guidance for the first quarter 2013 was below expectations, and has taken its toll on its stock.

Ulta said that it sees earnings per share in a range between $0.60 to $0.63, which is below current Wall Street consensus estimates of $0.72.

Eck and his team did not elaborate on the weak sales guidance; only stating that the company intends to achieve comparable store sales growth of around 4 percent to 6 percent in fiscal 2013, remodel seven store locations, and expand company-wide square footage by 22 percent with the opening of 125 net new stores.

Related topics: Business & Financial

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