Ulta Beauty Delivers Solid Q4

Ulta Beauty delivered a solid fourth quarter and fiscal year, as the beauty retailer said it enhanced its omnichannel capabilities and expanded market share.

For the fourth quarter ended February 1, net sales increased 8.5% to $2.3 billion compared to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales) increased 4% compared to an increase of 9.4% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. The comparable sales increase was driven by 1.8% transaction growth and 2.2% growth in average ticket.

Net income increased 3.7% to $222.7 million compared to $214.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Diluted earnings per share increased 7.8% to $3.89, which included a $0.06 per share benefit due to an increase in federal income tax credits, compared to $3.61 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.

For the full fiscal year, net sales increased 10.1% to $7.39 billion compared to $6.71 billion in fiscal 2018. Comparable sales increased 5% compared to an increase of 8.1% in fiscal 2018. The comparable sales increase was driven by 3.3% transaction growth and 1.7% growth in average ticket.

Net income in the fiscal year increased 7.2% to $705.9 million compared to $658.6 million in fiscal 2018. Diluted earnings per share increased 11.1% to $12.15 which included a $0.30 per share benefit primarily due to income tax accounting for share-based compensation and federal income tax credits, compared to $10.94 in fiscal 2018, which included a $0.09 per share benefit due to income tax accounting for share-based compensation.

“The Ulta Beauty team delivered results for the fourth quarter at the high end of our expectations, and I am proud of how our teams worked together to serve our guests this holiday season,” said Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty. “Our enhanced omnichannel capabilities, combined with our merchandise exclusives, cross-category marketing events, and great execution by our store teams, enabled us to expand our market share and deliver a successful quarter.”