Silver Lining for Struggling Ulta Beauty Stock

A price-target cut to $200 is weighing on ULTA today

by Laura McCandless

Published on Apr 3, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Updated on Apr 3, 2020 at 1:23 PM

Beauty retailer Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA) has struggled during measures taken to contain coronavirus -- closing stores and moving completely digital. After a price target cut to $200 by Jefferies, ULTA stock is down 0.6% to trade at $160.32. However, a silver lining; Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White broken down the best performing stocks for the second quarter in the last 10 years, and ULTA popped up on the list. Looking back over the last decade, ULTA averaged a second quarter gain of 9.9%, second only to Netflix (NFLX) in terms of general retailers.

SPX Best Stocks Q2

Bouncing off of a five-year low on March 18, Ulta stock's rally was shut down by resistance at the 20-day moving average. Long-term, the equity is down 35.6% in the last 3 months and 36.6% year-to-date. 

ulta chart april 3

Analysts are bullish coming into today, with 13 out of 21 sporting a "strong buy" and the remaining eight considering a tepid "hold." However, the 12-month consensus target price of $234.7 is a lofty 46.2% premium to current levels. 

In the options pits, puts have picked up in popularity. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 2.36 puts have been bought for every call in the past 10 days. This ratio sits in the 95th percentile of its annual range, suggesting the appetite for puts is higher than usual. Today is more of the same, with puts doubling the number of calls, however, the options volume has been minimal. 


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