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Ulta’s Profits Gain 28.3%

Beauty retailer topped projections for quarter, sees stock jump.

The battle to secure product exclusives is heating up. Ulta, which commands a 17.1 percent share of the beauty-specialist retail sector according to Euromonitor International, is the latest to enter the fray.

Ulta Beauty’s growth spurt continued in the second quarter.

And investors were liking it, pushing shares of the company up 17.5 percent to $117.73 in midday trading on Wall Street today.

The firm, which reported second-quarter results late Thursday, said its net income jumped 28.3 percent to $44.9 million, or 70 cents a diluted share, from $35 million, or 54 cents, a year earlier. Earnings came in 3 cents ahead of the 67 cents analysts projected.

Sales for the three months ended Aug. 3 gained 24.8 percent to $601 million from $481.7 million. Comparable sales increased 8.4 percent.

 

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The 609-door retailer added 39 Clinique boutiques during the quarter and plans to add another 10 this year, for a total of 100. Five Lancôme boutiques were also added, and another 20 are under way, which will bring the total to 105.

Ulta has also been adding new brands to its mix, including IT Cosmetics, Jane Cosmetics, Mally Girl and Meaningful Beauty.

For the third quarter, the Bolingbrook, Ill.-based retailer projected earnings per share of 71 cents to 74 cents, up from 59 cents a year earlier.