Ulta Beauty started at buy with $290 stock price target at UBS

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Ulta shares fall as company’s quarterly sales lose some steam

Shares of Ulta Beauty Inc. fell more than 5% late Thursday after the retailer reported better-than-expected earnings but comparable-store sales lost some steam. Ulta said it earned $208.2 million, or $3.40 a share, compared with $140.2 million, or $2.24 a share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Adjusted for one-time items, Ulta earned $2.75 a share, compared with $2.24 a share a year ago. Sales rose 23% to $1.94 million, compared with $1.58 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP earnings of $2.78 a share on sales of $1.94 billion. Comparable-store sales, including e-commerce sales, rose 8.8% compared with an increase of 17% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, Ulta said. The analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a comparable-store sales increase of 9%. The company said it set aside $12.3 million for one-time employee bonus payments related to the U.S. tax overhaul. The company said it expects an increase in total sales in the low teens percentage range for 2018.

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