Ulta Salon Is Ultra-Hot

Earlier this month, Ulta Salon (NAS: ULTA) lit up Wall Street with its strong second-quarter earnings. The cosmetics company reported an 83% surge in its net income, helped by new product launches and promotions. Let's take a closer look at these impressive numbers.

A look at the numbers
Revenues for the second quarter surged 23% to $394.6 million. Both same-store sales gains of 11.3% and revenue from new stores contributed to this solid revenue growth. Higher sales helped gross profits and operating income rise substantially, and net profit for the quarter weighed in at $83 million.

Even more amazing, the jump in Ulta Salon's same-store sales contrasts well against competitors Macy's (NYS: M) and J.C. Penney (NYS: JCP) , which saw comps rise 6.4% and 1.5% respectively.

What's in the offing
Even as economic recovery remains muted, Ulta has continued its new store expansion and has been able to maintain double-digit growth. The company opened 21 new stores during the second quarter and plans to open a total of 61 stores during the course of the fiscal year. As of July 30, 2011, it operates 415 stores in 42 states.

As part of a strategy to boost sales further, Ulta is now aiming to get more male customers. The company recently said it will start exclusive grooming boutiques for men inside most of its stores. The men's grooming items, which used to be spread throughout the store, will be pulled together for the grooming boutique. That should help boost its revenue.

The Foolish bottom line
In spite of the instability of the U.S. economy, which has hurt consumer sentiment, this beauty retailer has maintained a positive sales growth. With strong same-store sales and new stores set to open up, things are looking good for Ulta.

  • To add Ulta Salon to your Watchlist, click here.
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  • To add J.C. Penney to your Watchlist, click here.

At the time this article was published  Fool contributor Abantika Chatterjee does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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