By Liz Moyer
Investing.com — Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:) beat expectations for sales and profit and forecast strong results for the coming year as shoppers continued to spend money on cosmetics and beauty products.
Shares of the retailer were down 2.3% in after-hours trading but are up 11.3% so far this year.
Ulta net sales of $3.22 billion in the fourth quarter and earnings per share of $6.68. Analysts expected $3.02B of sales and earnings per share of $5.63.
Revenue in the fourth quarter was up 18.2% from the prior year. But comparable store sales are slowing. For the quarter, they rose 15.6% compared with the 21.4% growth in the fourth quarter a year ago. For the year, same-store sales gained 15.6% compared with 37.9% the year before.
“Ulta Beauty’s strong fourth quarter results punctuate an exceptional year with record sales, profitability, and member growth, reflecting robust demand and best-in-class execution,” said CEO Dave Kimbell, noting that annual revenue surpassed $10B for the first time in its 33-year history. “As we move into fiscal 2023, we remain optimistic about the strength and resiliency of the beauty category, and I am excited about the opportunities ahead to continue to expand our leadership position, capture market share gains, and drive long term value for all our stakeholders.”
For the full year, the company reported $10.2B in sales and earnings per share of $24.01. Analysts expected $10B of sales and earnings per share of $23.13.
Ulta’s outlook surpassed expectations. It projects net sales for fiscal 2023 of $10.95B to $11.05B. It expects comparable store sales to rise 4% to 5%.