Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty beats holiday-quarter comparable sales estimates

(Reuters) - Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty Inc ULTA.O beat market estimates for quarterly comparable sales on Thursday, as shoppers spent more at its stores during the holiday season.

Ulta Beauty has been cashing in on booming demand for influencer- and celebrity-led beauty brands, which are usually priced at a premium, including those from Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lopez.

Comparable sales rose 4% in the fourth quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of a 3.38% rise, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income rose to $222.7 million, or $3.89 per share, for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, from $214.7 million, or $3.61 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $3.73 per share.

However, Ulta Beauty forecasts fiscal 2020 profit per share between $12.55 and $12.75, well below Wall Street expectations of $13.06 per share, while comparable sales outlook fell largely below estimates. The outlook does not include any impact related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Shares of the Bolingbrook, Illinois-based company were up about 3% in aftermarket trading following the results, having shed nearly 22% this year as of Thursday’s close.

Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri