Analysts, Options Traders Blast Ulta Beauty Stock After Earnings Beat

Ulta reported third-quarter earnings that topped expectations

Managing Editor
Dec 6, 2019 at 10:04 AM
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A big earnings winner to close out the week is Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA), after the cosmetics retailer reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of $2.25 per share, easily toppling the $2.13 estimates. Revenue and same-store sales met expectations, with the company touting its higher-end cosmetics products. 

No fewer than five brokerages hiked their price targets this morning, including J.P. Morgan Securities to $326 from $317. The analyst in coverage called ULTA a "multi-year story," and thinks the company could capture better market share from department stores in the future. Piper Jaffray warned that market trends with makeup could become a bigger headwind soon.

All of this adds up to Ulta Beauty stock being up 12.1% to trade at $264.48, on track for its best single-session gain since October 16. After a sharp post-earnings bear gap back in August, ULTA spent the last few months consolidating below the $250 level. Should today's price action hold, Ulta shares will have reclaimed their year-to-date breakeven level. 

Near-term open interest is unusually put-heavy on Ulta stock. This is according to its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.30, which ranks four percentage points from an annual high.

Today is a different story, though. Already over 18,000 calls have changed hands, 21 times the expected intraday amount and almost triple the number of puts traded so far. Most of this action is occurring at the weekly 12/6 series, with the 265-, 260-, and 270- strikes all popular. 


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