Ulta Wraps Up Strong Fourth Quarter, Fiscal Year

For the fourth quarter ended January 31, Ulta Beauty posted net income of $87.3 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, compared to $70.7 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Net income was $86 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, excluding the impact of a non-recurring tax adjustment, according to the company.

Diluted earnings per share beat a Zacks average analyst estimate of $1.26.

Comparable sales, including e-commerce revenues, increased 11.1% versus last year’s quarter, driven by 7.7% growth in transactions and 3.4% growth in average ticket, the company noted.

Operating income grew 20.4% to $137.5 million in the quarter year over year. E-commerce sales gained 55.2%, representing 230 basis points of the total company comp increase of 11.1%, Ulta reported.

Net sales increased 20.7% to $1.05 billion versus the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, the company stated.

For the full fiscal year, Ulta posted a net sales increase of 21.4% to $3.24 billion as comps increased 9.9% versus fiscal 2013 based on 5.6% growth in transactions and 4.3% growth in average ticket.

Operating income increased 25.3% to $410.4 million in the quarter year over year. E-commerce sales gained 56.4%, representing 180 basis points of the total company comp increase of 9.9%.

Net income was $257.1 million, or $3.98 per diluted share, compared to $202.8, or $3.15 million per diluted share, in fiscal 2013. Net income was $255.8 million, or $3.96 per diluted share, excluding the impact of a non-recurring tax adjustment, the company maintained.

“Ulta Beauty wrapped up a very strong year of sales and profit growth with an excellent fourth quarter, which we are proud to celebrate as our first billion dollar sales quarter,” said Mary Dillon, Ulta CEO. “Our best comparable sales increase of the year was driven by accelerating traffic growth, continued strength in prestige and mass color cosmetics, a successful holiday selling season, execution of more effective marketing and CRM strategies, a double-digit comp in our salon business, and a 55% comparable sales increase in our e-commerce business.”

During the fourth quarter, Ulta opened 10 stores and closed one store. The company ended the fourth quarter with 774 stores. In 2015, Ulta noted that it expected to open 100 new stores.