Ulta Beauty Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $ULTA

Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – February 2017.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how Ulta Beauty Inc (ULTA) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Ulta Beauty, Inc. is a holding company for the Ulta Beauty group of companies. The Company is a beauty retailer. The Company offers cosmetics, fragrance, skin, hair care products and salon services. The Company offers approximately 20,000 products from over 500 beauty brands across all categories, including the Company’s own private label. The Company also offers a full-service salon in every store featuring hair, skin and brow services. The Company operates approximately 970 retail stores across over 48 states and the District of Columbia and also distributes its products through its Website, which includes a collection of tips, tutorials and social content. The Company offers makeup products, such as foundation, face powder, concealer, color correcting, face primer, blush, bronzer, contouring, highlighter, setting spray, shampoos, conditioners, hair styling products, hair styling tools and perfumes. The Company also offers makeup brushes and tools, and makeup bags and cases.

ULTA Chart

ULTA data by YCharts

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of ULTA – March 2017

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $17,353,722,489 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 2.35 Pass
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Fail
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 876.43% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 57.40 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 12.01 Fail
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 2.35 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 0.00 Pass
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Fail
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $4.85
MG Growth Estimate 15.00%
MG Value $186.57
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade C-
MG Value based on 3% Growth $70.27
MG Value based on 0% Growth $41.19
Market Implied Growth Rate 24.45%
Current Price $278.15
% of Intrinsic Value 149.09%

Ulta Beauty Inc is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the poor dividend history, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the lack of dividends. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.75 in 2013 to an estimated $4.85 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 24.45% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Ulta Beauty Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $57.79. The company does not pay a dividend. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 57.4, which was above the industry average of 50.09. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $7.01.

Ulta Beauty Inc receives an average overall rating in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a C-.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) $7.01
Graham Number $57.79
PEmg 57.40
Current Ratio 2.35
PB Ratio 12.01
Current Dividend $0.00
Dividend Yield 0.00%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 0


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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 10/1/2016
Total Current Assets $1,538,465,000
Total Current Liabilities $654,640,000
Long-Term Debt $0
Total Assets $2,551,201,000
Intangible Assets $0
Total Liabilities $1,099,117,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 62,692,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $6.37
Jan2016 $4.98
Jan2015 $3.98
Jan2014 $3.15
Jan2013 $2.68
Jan2012 $1.90
Jan2011 $1.16
Jan2010 $0.66
Jan2009 $0.43
Jan2008 $0.48
Jan2007 $0.45
Jan2006 $0.33
Jan2005 -$0.70
Jan2004 -$2.36
Jan2003 $0.02

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.85
Jan2016 $3.84
Jan2015 $3.03
Jan2014 $2.34
Jan2013 $1.75
Jan2012 $1.16
Jan2011 $0.74
Jan2010 $0.51
Jan2009 $0.36
Jan2008 $0.10
Jan2007 -$0.22
Jan2006 -$0.55
Jan2005 -$0.86
Jan2004 -$0.78
Jan2003 $0.01

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.






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