All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

ULTA Makes it to the S&P 500 on Solid Underlying Growth

Cosmetics company ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. ULTA is set to join the S&P 500 index after the market closes on Friday, Apr 15, 2016. ULTA will be included in the S&P 500 (Global Industry Classification Standard) Specialty Stores Sub-Industry index.

With a portfolio of 500 leading companies that has approximately 80% coverage of the available market capitalization, the S&P 500 is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap U.S. equities. A company included in this index has a market capitalization of over $5.3 billion with at least half the outstanding shares available for public trading. No wonder, the index is considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy.

The list is periodically modified to delete stocks that have been acquired by other companies, delisted from the stock exchange or failed to meet the mandatory criteria of the benchmark index. Consequently, other companies that meet the inclusion criteria are added to the list to replace the deleted stocks.  

While ULTA is joining the S&P 500 index, Tenet Healthcare Corp. THC has been removed from the same. Nonetheless, Tenet Healthcare has found entry into the S&P MidCap 400 by replacing Jarden Corp. JAH, which will be acquired by Newell Rubbermaid Inc. NWL.

Headquartered in Bolingbrook, IL, ULTA is a leading specialty retailer of cosmetics products in the U.S. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 7.7% over the trailing four quarters, and has a long-term earnings growth rate of 19.5%. The company is expected to witness earnings growth of 19.7% in fiscal 2016 and 21.2% in fiscal 2017. The Zacks Consensus Estimate too has been trending upward over the last 30 days.

The company also reported decent results for fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 in March, wherein earnings per share of $1.69 increased 25% year over year and surpassed management’s guidance of $1.48–$1.53. Significant upside in comparable store sales or comps and gross margin resulted in increased profits during the quarter. Total sales increased 21.1% on the back of 12.5% comps growth. Solid underlying growth in the beauty industry, increasing brand assortment at Ulta stores and on, and growth in the company’s ULTAmate Rewards loyalty database contributed to the sales gain during the quarter.

With the product mix increasingly catering to higher-margin prestige products and better supply-chain management, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) cosmetics company, is poised for higher margin expansion in the upcoming quarters. Moreover, the company’s mass beauty products, prestige beauty and salon services, and salon-quality products offered in off-mall locations attract beauty product shoppers from varied socio-geographic conditions and offer the company an edge over the other players in the same space.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. blog">Click to get this free report >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
NEWELL RUBBERMD (NWL): Free Stock Analysis Report
TENET HEALTH (THC): Free Stock Analysis Report
JARDEN CORP (JAH): Free Stock Analysis Report
ULTA SALON COSM (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on click here.
Zacks Investment Research