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Ulta Beauty adjusts FY'19 outlook as Q3 EPS beats estimates

Cosmetics and personal products retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. on Dec. 5 adjusted its earnings and sales outlook for the 2019 fiscal year following third-quarter results that beat analysts' estimates.

The Bolingbrook, Ill.-based company now expects full-year diluted EPS to range between $11.93 and $12.03, versus the prior outlook of $11.86 to $12.06. The figure includes the impact of about $700 million in share repurchases. Ulta expects total sales to grow 10% year over year, compared to the previous growth forecast of between 9% and 12%.

The retailer also adjusted its comparable sales growth projection to a range of 4.7% to 5.0%, versus the previous target of 4% to 6%. Additionally, Ulta reduced its planned capital expenditures to between $305 million and $315 million from $340 million to $350 million.

"The reduction from previous guidance primarily reflects our decision to delay the opening of our fast fulfillment center in Jacksonville until 2021. We now expect full-year capex will include approximately $170 million for new stores, remodels and merchandise fixtures; $90 million for supply chain and IT; and about $50 million for store maintenance and other," Ulta CFO Scott Settersten said during an earnings call.

For the third quarter ended Nov. 2, Ulta's net income fell marginally to $129.7 million from $131.2 million a year ago. The figure beat the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus net income estimate of $122.9 million.

Diluted EPS rose 3.2% to $2.25 from $2.18 a year prior, surpassing analysts' consensus normalized EPS estimate of $2.13, compiled by Market Intelligence.

Net sales for the quarter jumped 7.9% to $1.68 billion from $1.56 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Ulta opened a total of 31 stores during the quarter and closed three, bringing its total store count to 1,241.

The company reaffirmed its plan to open about 80 new stores in fiscal 2019 and execute about 20 remodel or relocation projects.

Ulta's stock is up 9.31% to $257.99 in after-hours trading in New York after closing down 1.42% at $236.02 on Dec. 5.