Ulta sees sales jump 60%, raises full-year outlook
Ulta Beauty, Inc. reported second-quarter sales of $2.0 billion on Wednesday, an increase of 60.2% from $1.2 billion in the prior-year period, progress which led the American cosmetics retailer to increase its annual financial guidance.
The Bolingbrook, Illinois-based company’s sales in the second quarter ended July 31, 2021, were positively affected by the favorable impact of stronger consumer confidence and the relaxation of Covid-19-related restrictions since the same period in the previous year.
The retailer’s comparable sales increased 56.3% in the quarter, compared to a decrease of 26.7% in Q2 2020. When compared to pre-pandemic Q2 2019, Ulta’s quarterly comparable sales increased 13.1%.
Net income at the company came to $250.9 million, up from $8.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. Diluted earnings per share were $4.56, compared to $0.14 in the prior-year period.
Ulta’s Q2 results were significantly stronger than predicted by financial analysts, who, according to FactSet data cited by MarketWatch, had expected the retailer to report earnings per share of $2.57 on sales of $1.77 billion.
“The Ulta Beauty team delivered strong results for the second quarter,” commented company CEO Dave Kimbell in a release. “This performance reflects the recovery of the beauty category, investments and choices we’ve made over the last year to adapt to the market disruption and strengthen our leadership position, and the ongoing efforts of our associates to deliver great experiences for our guests.”
In the first six months of 2021, Ulta’s net sales totaled $3.9 billion, increasing 62.7% from $2.4 billion in the same period in the previous year. Comparable sales rose 60.9%, compared to a decrease of 31.1% in the first half of fiscal 2020.
Net income for the six-month period was $481.2 million, or $8.66 per share, compared to a net loss of $70.5 million, or a loss of $1.25 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.
In line with its strong second quarter, Ulta now expects its full-year net sales to total between $8.1 billion and $8.3 billion, with earnings per share expected to be between $14.50 and $14.70. Comparable sales are predicted to increase in the range of 30% to 32%.
The company’s previously reported outlook had predicted earnings per share in the range of $11.50 to $11.95 on sales of between $7.7 billion to $7.8 billion, with comparable sales expected to increase in the range of 23% to 25%.
Following the announcement of the company’s better than expected second-quarter results and increased financial outlook, Ulta shares rose 5% in extended trading on Wednesday.
Having opened seven new stores and closed one over the course of Q2, Ulta finished the quarter with 1,296 retail locations.
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