Shares of Ulta Beauty jumped 14 percent on Wednesday after a strong earnings report late Tuesday left the cosmetics and salon retailer looking quite pretty.
Ulta shares opened at $96.17 and had climbed to $98 by 10 a.m. Central, up from a Tuesday close of $85.31.
The Bolingbrook-based company reported higher earnings driven by a 22.5 percent jump in sales in the first quarter, beating analysts' expectations.
Sales at stores open at least 14 months -- a key gauge of retailer health -- increased 8.7 percent, stronger than the 6 percent growth Wall Street had forecast, thanks to a 72 percent hike in online sales and a 2.5 percent bump in traffic.
In an analyst note following the earnings release Sterne Agee analyst Ike Boruchow noted that it was Ulta's best traffic performance in 12 months.
"Given Ulta's impressive ability to drive positive traffic in a tough retail environment without resorting to promotions, we view the company as a clear outperformer in retail today," Boruchow said.
Ulta, which had moderated growth expectations as it invested in long-term improvements under new CEO Mary Dillon, estimated a strong second quarter with at least a 17.5 percent revenue growth and 5 to 7 percent growth in comparable store sales.
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