* Fourth-quarter revenue rises 30 pct to $757 mln
* Comparable-store sales rise 8 pct
* Reiterates fourth-quarter profit view of $0.96-$0.98
* Appoints Dennis Eck interim CEO.
Feb 14 Beauty products retailer Ulta Salon
Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc said Chief Executive Chuck
Rubin will step down to join Michaels Stores Inc, North
America's largest arts and craft retailer, sending Ulta Salon's
shares down as much as 13 percent.
Ulta Salon's Chief Financial Officer Bruce Hartman resigned
Credit Suisse, which downgraded Ulta Salon to "neutral" from
"outperform", said Rubin's departure after more than two years
at the helm had created near-term uncertainty for the company.
"It is difficult for us to have an 'outperform' on a company
missing a full-time CEO and full-time CFO. Until those positions
are filled, we prefer to be on the sidelines," Credit Suisse
analysts led by Gary Balter wrote in a note to clients.
However, analysts at Piper Jaffray & Co reiterated their
"overweight" rating on Ulta Salon's stock, saying the company's
strong growth will prove attractive to prospective CEOs.
Ulta Salon's Non-Executive Chairman Dennis Eck has been
appointed interim CEO. Rubin's resignation takes effect on Feb.
The company said on Thursday revenue rose 30 percent to $757
million in the fourth quarter and backed its profit view of 96
cents to 98 cents per share.
Comparable-store sales rose 8 percent.
Ulta Salon's sales have risen 22 percent since Ruben became
CEO in September 2010, while its stock jumped four-fold.
The Bolingbrook, Illinois-based company's shares were down
11 percent at $88.22 in heavy trading. The stock, which touched
a low of $86.90, was one of the top percentage losers on the
MICHAELS STORES' GAIN
Rubin's entry could revive Michaels Stores's IPO plans,
which were delayed after former chief executive John Menzer
suffered a stroke in April 2012.
With Rubin assuming his role after an unspecified period of
transition, Michaels Stores will discontinue the interim office
of the CEO, comprising its finance chief and a managing director
of one of its private equity owners.
The interim office of the CEO was set up after Menzer
suffered a stroke.
The company was taken private in 2006 by a group of private
equity firms, led by Bain Capital Partners and Blackstone Group