Ulta Salon 3rd-qtr profit rises 69 percent

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2009 6:25 PM

Beauty supplies retailer Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. said Thursday its profit rose 69 percent in the third quarter as sales rose by a double-digit percentage.

But its revenue outlook for the fourth quarter was below a consensus Wall Street estimate, and the shares fell.

Ulta predicted fourth-quarter sales of $362 million to $376 million, below the $377 million prediction of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Ulta said profit would be 22 cents to 26 cents per share, compared with the 25 cent per share estimate of analysts.

In the quarter that ended Nov. 1, the company earned $8.5 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a profit of $5 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest profit results beat an 11 cent per share estimate.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $284 million from $254.8 million. Analysts had expected $278 million.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 1.5 percent in the quarter. Sales at stores open at least a year are a key measure of retailer performance because they measure growth at existing stores rather than from newly opened ones.

Ulta shares fell 41 cents to $17.50 in after-hours trading Thursday after closing at $17.91, down 29 cents from a day earlier.