In the third quarter, with sales driven by store and e-commerce gains, Ulta Beauty comparable sales advanced 7.8%.
The beauty retailer recorded net income of $131.2 million, or $2.18 per diluted share, versus $104.6 million, or $1.70 per diluted share, in the fiscal 2017 period. Ulta earnings per diluted share beat a Zacks Investment Research analyst consensus estimate by two cents.
Comparable sales advanced 7.8% year over year, driven by 5.3% transaction growth and 2.5% growth in average ticket. Retail comps increased 4.4%, including salon comparable sales growth of 3.5%, from the year-previous quarter, with e-commerce sales representing 340 basis points of the 7.8% company total comp gain.
Ulta posted a net sales increase of 16.2% to $1.56 billion versus the year prior quarter. E-commerce sales advanced 42.5% from the year-previous period to $170.7 million.
Operating income gained 4% to $169.2 million versus the year-earlier period.
“Ulta Beauty’s strong performance in the third quarter reflects continued market share gains across all major categories, acceleration in our overall comp driven by healthy traffic, excellent new store productivity and robust e-commerce growth,” said Mary Dillon, Ulta CEO.
In the quarter, Ulta opened 42 stores and closed three, finishing the period with 1,163 stores.