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Ulta Beauty Gains as Customers Indulge, Consumer Confidence Grows -Breaking


© Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:) stock traded 2.2% higher in premarket Friday after the beauty retailer beat fourth-quarter estimates.

Company saw the benefits of employees returning to work, spending more money on skin care and fragrances. The company had 1,308 retail outlets as of January 29th, which is 44 more than the previous year.

As Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and consumers felt more confident, sales rose by over 24% to $2.7 Billion. As more shoppers shopped, comparable sales increased by more than 21%. The average ticket size also rose.

Sales, general, and administrative expenses increased by only 0.4 percentage point to close to 24% because of higher incentives and pay. This was partially offset partly by higher marketing costs due to leverage.

“The beauty category is healthy and growing, and we are confident the recovery that began in 2021 will continue, as consumers maintain their self-care routines, become more resilient to Covid surges, and engage in more leisure and social activities,” CEO Dave Kimbell said in a statement.

He listed wage and supply chain cost pressures as challenges in the current year while it attempts to exceed the “exceptional performance” in 2021 when net sales jumped over 40% to $8.6 billion.

The company’s targets for 2022 include at least $9.05 billion in annual sales with an ambitious aim of making it $9.15 billion. Comparable sales have increased by 3-4 percent.

The company had announced that it would buy back $2 billion of shares four days earlier. According to the company, this buyback replaces any portion of its $1.6 billion previous repurchase programme.  

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