Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Upgraded to Buy at Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray upgraded shares of Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $236.00 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $212.00.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on ULTA. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $240.00 price target on shares of Ulta Beauty in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Morgan Stanley raised Ulta Beauty from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price target for the company from $235.00 to $245.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo set a $297.00 price target on Ulta Beauty and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Vetr raised Ulta Beauty from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase raised their price target on Ulta Beauty from $270.00 to $300.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $252.10.

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NASDAQ:ULTA opened at $221.06 on Tuesday. Ulta Beauty has a twelve month low of $187.96 and a twelve month high of $314.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $12,622.92, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 0.67.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 15th. The specialty retailer reported $2.75 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.77 by ($0.02). Ulta Beauty had a net margin of 9.44% and a return on equity of 30.40%. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.24 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 22.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Ulta Beauty will post 10.74 earnings per share for the current year.

Ulta Beauty declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, March 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $625.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CEO Mary N. Dillon sold 16,286 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $206.99, for a total transaction of $3,371,039.14. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 100,984 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,902,678.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 5.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ULTA. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its position in Ulta Beauty by 415.5% during the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 1,995 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $451,000 after acquiring an additional 1,608 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Ulta Beauty by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 230,487 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $52,105,000 after acquiring an additional 694 shares during the last quarter. KBC Group NV grew its position in Ulta Beauty by 21.2% during the 3rd quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 8,138 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,840,000 after acquiring an additional 1,426 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. grew its position in Ulta Beauty by 31.8% during the 3rd quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,414 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $320,000 after acquiring an additional 341 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Allied Advisory Services Inc. grew its position in Ulta Beauty by 83.9% during the 3rd quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 2,922 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $665,000 after acquiring an additional 1,333 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.56% of the company’s stock.

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About Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty, Inc operates as a beauty retailer in the United States. The company's stores provide cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, haircare, bath and body products, and salon styling tools, as well as others, including nail products and accessories. It offers private label products consisting of Ulta Beauty Collection branded cosmetics, skincare, and bath products.

Analyst Recommendations for Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA)

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