Ulta Beats Holiday Financial Estimates

Ulta Beauty announced its sales results for the seven-week holiday period from Nov. 13, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2011. This time period corresponds with the company’s holiday marketing initiatives and represents the seven full weeks beginning the week before Thanksgiving through the end of the week following Christmas.

Total net sales for the seven-week holiday period were $386 million, a 24.4% increase from the prior year holiday period of $310.4 million. Comparable store sales for the 2011 holiday period increased 12.6%, as compared to a 9.5% increase during the same period in the prior year. Over a two year period, comparable store sales increased 22.1%.

Chuck Rubin, Ulta’s president and CEO, stated, “We delivered an excellent holiday season, with comparable store sales growth of 12.6% balanced across categories and brands, continuing our strong momentum from the first nine months of the year. We believe, once again, that we gained market share across our major categories driven by our consistent ability to capitalize on current trends and introduce newness, elevate our guest experience with exciting in-store events and traffic-driving communications to our loyal customer base. This combined with our great value proposition and strong customer service led to another successful holiday season. As a result of our better-than-expected performance, we have raised our fourth quarter outlook and now expect to report full year fiscal 2011 diluted earnings per share in a range of $1.84 to $1.85, an increase of approximately 59% compared to fiscal year 2010.”

Driven by favorable holiday sales, the company is increasing its fourth quarter fiscal 2011 outlook provided in conjunction with its third quarter fiscal 2011 results on Dec. 1, 2011. Ulta now expects fourth quarter fiscal 2011 net sales in the range of $574–579 million, as compared to its previous guidance of $552–562 million.

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