Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) Rating Lowered to Buy at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered shares of Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday, October 16th. The brokerage currently has $267.00 target price on the specialty retailer’s stock, down from their prior target price of $290.00.

“Goldman Sachs Conviction List.”Cosmetics accounted for approximately 51 percent of Ulta’s total revenue last year but industry sources are now calling for “lesser innovation” in the space, Fassler commented in a research report. While the beauty industry is also seeing greater innovation in hair-care and skincare, the growth in these two categories won’t be large enough to offset a slowdown in cosmetics. However, this doesn’t imply that investors should be concerned as the company remains a share gainer in the overall beauty space.In fact, investor concerns are either “misguided or premature” as there is no reason to believe Ulta’s core value proposition is under threat, Fassler added (see his track record here). For the time being at least it would be wrong to assume that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) offers a compelling alternative or that the addition of rival brands to Amazon’s platform is imminent.Bottom line, stabilization in Ulta’s revenue and ability to achieve same-store sales guidance remains a base case scenario. But weaker than prior trends in the overall beauty space implies a reduction in Ulta’s price target is necessary although the stock still boasts an “appealing,” Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)’s analyst wrote.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on ULTA. Zacks Investment Research raised Ulta Beauty from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $301.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Ulta Beauty from $313.00 to $245.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Monday, August 28th. Cleveland Research cut Ulta Beauty from a buy rating to a neutral rating and boosted their target price for the company from $189.50 to $314.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $300.00 price objective on shares of Ulta Beauty in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reduced their price objective on Ulta Beauty from $360.00 to $300.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $272.12.

Shares of Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) traded down 0.79% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $198.93. The company had a trading volume of 953,247 shares. The firm has a market cap of $12.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.48 and a beta of 0.57. Ulta Beauty has a 52-week low of $187.96 and a 52-week high of $314.86. The company’s 50-day moving average is $216.71 and its 200-day moving average is $258.20.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 24th. The specialty retailer reported $1.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.78 by $0.05. Ulta Beauty had a return on equity of 29.33% and a net margin of 8.84%. The firm had revenue of $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.29 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.43 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 20.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Ulta Beauty will post $8.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Ulta Beauty news, Director Charles Heilbronn acquired 127,889 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 13th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $195.21 per share, for a total transaction of $24,965,211.69. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael R. Macdonald acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $208.37 per share, for a total transaction of $416,740.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 6,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,296,894.88. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 5.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Fifth Third Bancorp raised its stake in Ulta Beauty by 11.2% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 398 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC increased its stake in shares of Ulta Beauty by 4,655.6% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 428 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $123,000 after purchasing an additional 419 shares during the period. FNY Partners Fund LP bought a new position in shares of Ulta Beauty during the first quarter worth approximately $142,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ulta Beauty during the second quarter worth approximately $157,000. Finally, QS Investors LLC increased its stake in shares of Ulta Beauty by 0.8% during the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 730 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $210,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.65% of the company’s stock.

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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