Ulta Beauty Enjoys Healthy Q2 Gains

Ulta Beauty enjoyed a healthy second quarter, with strong net income driven by a 6.5% comparable sales increase and a growing e-commerce business.

In the second quarter ended August 4, Ulta Beauty recorded net income of $148.3 million, or $2.46 per diluted share, versus $114.2 million, or $1.83 per diluted share in the year-earlier period. Ulta topped a $2.41 second quarter consensus analyst estimate published by MarketBeat.

Comparable sales increased 6.5% in the quarter year over year, driven by 3.1% transaction growth and 3.4% average ticket growth. Retail comps advanced 4%, including salon comparable sales growth of 1.7%.

Net sales increased to $1.49 billion versus $1.29 billion in the year-previous quarter, while operating income increased 7.8% to $193.8 million. E-commerce sales advanced 37.9% to $132.8 million, and represented 250 basis points of the total company comparable sales increase of 6.5%.

“The Ulta Beauty team delivered a strong performance in the second quarter, reflecting rapid growth in prestige boutique brands, mass cosmetics, skin care and fragrance, offset by continued moderation in the growth rates of a few of our large color cosmetics brands,” said Mary Dillon, Ulta CEO. “Our flexible business model continues to support healthy retail comps, excellent new store productivity, and high growth for Ulta.com, resulting in significant market share gains across categories.”

For the third quarter of fiscal 2018, the company expects net sales in the range of $1.55 billion to $1.56 billion, compared to actual net sales of $1.34 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2017. Comparable sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2018, including e-commerce sales, are expected to increase 7% to 8%.