Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Ulta Beauty has surpassed the industry year to date, driven by its splendid surprise history. The company maintained its robust trend in second-quarter fiscal 2017, which marked its 15th straight quarter of earnings and sales beat. Also, results grew year over year fueled by market share gains and solid gains from its loyalty program. Further, continued strength in prestige cosmetics, effective marketing initiatives, outstanding e-Commerce business and superb salon operations drove results. Notably, the company recorded 72.3% growth in e-Commerce sales, which helps it stand out even amid intense online competition. Additionally, traffic remained favorable, which in turn drove comps in the quarter. Encouraged by the sturdy results, management perked up its fiscal 2017 view. However, the company remains on the back foot due to limited global brand awareness and challenges related to cheaper alternatives.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on ULTA. Edward Jones downgraded Ulta Beauty from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. Buckingham Research downgraded Ulta Beauty from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $325.00 to $330.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $325.00 price objective (up from $305.00) on shares of Ulta Beauty in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $300.00 price objective on Ulta Beauty and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, May 28th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $325.00 price objective on Ulta Beauty and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $294.72.

Shares of Ulta Beauty (ULTA) opened at 212.36 on Friday. Ulta Beauty has a 12 month low of $208.25 and a 12 month high of $314.86. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $249.47 and its 200-day moving average price is $277.02. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.27 and a beta of 0.57. Ulta Beauty also was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Traders acquired 23,425 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 769% compared to the typical volume of 2,696 put options.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 24th. The specialty retailer reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.78 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Ulta Beauty had a return on equity of 29.72% and a net margin of 8.84%. Ulta Beauty’s quarterly revenue was up 20.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.43 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Ulta Beauty will post $8.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Catherine Ann Halligan sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $312.36, for a total transaction of $156,180.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,126 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,288,797.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert F. Diromualdo sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $309.05, for a total transaction of $6,181,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,717 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,457,788.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. QS Investors LLC boosted its position in Ulta Beauty by 0.8% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 730 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $210,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC boosted its position in shares of Ulta Beauty by 1.0% in the second quarter. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC now owns 999 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $287,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ulta Beauty by 1.3% in the second quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. now owns 1,291 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $371,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Chase Investment Counsel Corp boosted its position in shares of Ulta Beauty by 1.1% in the second quarter. Chase Investment Counsel Corp now owns 1,683 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $483,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Trust Investment Advisors boosted its position in shares of Ulta Beauty by 0.7% in the first quarter. Trust Investment Advisors now owns 3,865 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,102,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. 85.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Ulta Beauty Company Profile

Ulta Beauty, Inc is a holding company for the Ulta Beauty group of companies. The Company is a beauty retailer. The Company offers cosmetics, fragrance, skin, hair care products and salon services. The Company offers approximately 20,000 products from over 500 beauty brands across all categories, including the Company’s own private label.

Analyst Recommendations for Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA)

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