Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) Short Interest Update

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Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of March. As of March 13th, there was short interest totalling 3,114,400 shares, a drop of 18.0% from the February 27th total of 3,800,000 shares. Currently, 5.7% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,206,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.6 days.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in Ulta Beauty by 2.9% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,539,269 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $636,468,000 after purchasing an additional 72,084 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Ulta Beauty by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,676,184 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $424,309,000 after purchasing an additional 24,584 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Ulta Beauty by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 907,134 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $229,174,000 after buying an additional 4,949 shares in the last quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Ulta Beauty by 48.2% during the 4th quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 791,035 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $200,243,000 after buying an additional 257,305 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt boosted its holdings in Ulta Beauty by 33.8% in the 4th quarter. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt now owns 693,000 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $174,116,000 after buying an additional 175,000 shares during the period. 88.44% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ:ULTA opened at $188.83 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 1.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.15 billion, a PE ratio of 15.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.10. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $247.33 and its 200-day moving average price is $247.98. Ulta Beauty has a twelve month low of $124.05 and a twelve month high of $368.83.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 12th. The specialty retailer reported $3.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.73 by $0.16. Ulta Beauty had a net margin of 9.54% and a return on equity of 36.75%. The company had revenue of $2.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.29 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $3.61 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Ulta Beauty will post 12.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ulta Beauty announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 12th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.60 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to buy up to 12.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

ULTA has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on Ulta Beauty from $286.00 to $265.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 10th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Ulta Beauty from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $285.00 to $307.00 in a report on Monday, February 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus dropped their price objective on Ulta Beauty from $230.00 to $220.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 13th. UBS Group reduced their price objective on Ulta Beauty from $300.00 to $270.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co decreased their target price on Ulta Beauty from $250.00 to $230.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ulta Beauty presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $264.21.

Ulta Beauty Company Profile

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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