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Piper Jaffray Upgrades Ulta; Survey Reveals Teens Spending More On Cosmetics

Piper Jaffray Upgrades Ulta; Survey Reveals Teens Spending More On Cosmetics
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Ulta Beauty makes digital investments (Seeking Alpha)

Against the backdrop of a populous teen beauty scene, Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA) is looking pretty.

The Rating

PiperJaffray analyst Erinn Murphy upgraded Ulta form Neutral to Overweight and raised the price target from $212 to $236.

The Thesis

PiperJaffray’s Teen Survey revealed a multitude of factors in Ulta’s favor, Murphy said in a Tuesday report. (See the analyst's track record here.)

For one, female teenagers are spending more on cosmetics. They averaged $368 in purchases this spring for a 4-percent year-over-year increase and a 22-percent sequential pop, according to PiperJaffray.

“We are seeing an expanded set of teens indicate they wear makeup everyday or sometimes," Murphy said. 

Notably, 74 percent of respondents reported a preference for specialty shopping, which accelerated from 66 percent in the fall, and 90 percent said they prefer to buy in store.

“While Sephora remains the No. 1 shopping destination among upper-income females, Ulta re-emerged as the No. 1 destination for average-income females,” Murphy said, noting below-expectations acceleration from competing brands like Fenty.

Product preferences also benefit Ulta. Skincare, which represents 21 percent of Ulta sales and continues to expand, led the spending categories with the greatest year-over-year growth. Color cosmetics, which rose 19 percent between the fall and spring, represent 51 percent of Ulta’s incremental revenue growth.

At the same time, Ulta has been expanding three brands that ranked in the survey’s top 20.

Price Action

At the time of publication, Ulta shares were trading up 4 percent to $220.66. 

Related Links:

7 Analysts Weigh In On Ulta's Q4 Miss

Ulta Beauty Investors Failing To Reward Stock For Tax Tailwinds, Says Wells Fargo

Latest Ratings for ULTA

Nov 2018William O'Neil & CoReinstatesBuy
Oct 2018ArgusInitiates Coverage OnBuy
Oct 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweightOverweight

View More Analyst Ratings for ULTA
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Christian Yonokoski Eric JohnsonAnalyst Color Upgrades Price Target Crowdsourcing Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga


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