Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) Shares Gap Up on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) gapped up before the market opened on Monday after Barclays raised their price target on the stock from $220.00 to $238.00. The stock had previously closed at $267.54, but opened at $262.20. Barclays currently has an equal weight rating on the stock. Ulta Beauty shares last traded at $255.85, with a volume of 124,101 shares traded.

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Citigroup lowered shares of Ulta Beauty from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $390.00 to $300.00 in a research note on Friday, August 30th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on shares of Ulta Beauty from $315.00 to $250.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 30th. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and set a $300.00 target price on shares of Ulta Beauty in a research note on Tuesday, November 26th. Wolfe Research started coverage on shares of Ulta Beauty in a research note on Tuesday, October 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $288.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group restated an “outperform” rating and set a $330.00 target price (down from $375.00) on shares of Ulta Beauty in a research note on Friday, August 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ulta Beauty has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $286.57.

In other Ulta Beauty news, CEO Mary N. Dillon purchased 1,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 26th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $237.17 per share, with a total value of $308,321.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 79,256 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,797,145.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Charles Heilbronn purchased 115,258 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 26th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $236.41 per share, with a total value of $27,248,143.78. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 60,368 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,271,598.88. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 186,567 shares of company stock valued at $44,964,903 over the last ninety days. 4.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ULTA. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Ulta Beauty in the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its holdings in shares of Ulta Beauty by 79.2% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 86 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA boosted its holdings in shares of Ulta Beauty by 3,900.0% in the third quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 120 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 117 shares during the period. Next Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ulta Beauty by 206.7% in the second quarter. Next Capital Management LLC now owns 92 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 62 shares during the period. Finally, Bell Rock Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ulta Beauty in the second quarter valued at approximately $34,000. 87.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The firm has a market capitalization of $14.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 1.11. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $239.93 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $290.60. The company has a quick ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 1.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 5th. The specialty retailer reported $2.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.13 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $1.68 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.69 billion. Ulta Beauty had a return on equity of 36.91% and a net margin of 9.67%. The company’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.18 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ulta Beauty Inc will post 11.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA)

Ulta Beauty, Inc operates as a beauty retailer in the United States. The company's stores offer cosmetics, fragrances, skincare and haircare products, bath and body products, and salon styling tools; salon services, including hair, skin, makeup, and brow services; and others, including nail products and accessories.

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