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Ulta Beauty Bright Spots Don't Hide Its Blemishes

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Ulta Beauty Bright Spots Don't Hide Its Blemishes

Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA) reported a second-quarter earnings beat Thursday, but the market was skeptical, sending the stock down more than 10 percent in early Friday trading. According to BMO Capital Management analyst Shannon Coyne, investors have six reasons to be concerned about Ulta:

    1. The overall beauty market is slowing.
    2. Department stores are becoming more competitive via promotions and loyalty programs.
    3. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is entering the space in a meaningful way.
    4. Mass-market brand ColourPop has come to Sephora, blurring the line between premium and prestige brands.
    5. General retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT) are entering the beauty market via M&A.
    6. New store openings by Sephora make the competitor's locations more convenient in certain areas.

While Coyne acknowledges that the Q2 report wasn’t all bad news, Ulta’s modest earnings beat wasn't enough for BMO to maintain its bullish outlook for the stock.

“We see bright spots ahead for Ulta, however, we see several clouds on the horizon based on our deep-dive Beauty Channel Distribution analysis founded on survey data and additional outside data sources that causes us to step to the sidelines,” Coyne wrote.

Related Link: Amazon Can't Put All Grocery Stores Out Of Business

Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba, however, says an extended valuation is the only concern for Ulta investors, and the underlying growth story remains intact.

“In particular, we note the company generated another double-digit percentage comparable sales gain, improved profitability, and posted another bottom line beat,” he wrote Friday.

Loop Capital maintains a Buy rating for Ulta but lowered its price target from $350 to $300.

At last check, shares of Ulta were down 9.43 percent at $211.67.

Latest Ratings for ULTA

DateFirmActionFromTo
Sep 2020DA DavidsonInitiates Coverage OnBuy
Sep 2020Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight
Aug 2020UBSMaintainsBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for ULTA
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