Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon is showing how retail can work and is “crushing” the competition along the way, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
The cosmetics company reported a great quarter last week, including more than 9 percent same-store sales growth and a 14 percent subscriber growth in its rewards program, he said. Ulta Beauty’s 31.8 million people on its rewards program also trumps the 16 million on Starbucks’ loyalty plan, he said, pointing out that Starbucks has 10 times the number of locations Ulta Beauty has.
“Ulta’s rewards program is so persuasive, with various tiers of value that I found myself wondering why don’t more retailers adopt this model?” the “Mad Money” host said. “Mary Dillon understands that the future of retail is all about personalization.”
Additionally, Ulta is keeping their stores and website fresh, Cramer said. On top of that, the company has a dominant influencer reach on social media, particularly through Kylie Jenner and her line of cosmetics.
“When Kylie Jenner launches a line of cosmetics, making herself the youngest ever, well let’s say allegedly, self-made billionaire, you can’t invest in her,” he said. “But you can invest in Ulta, which has the best chance to replenish a product line that was sold out this quarter.”
Who knows how much money the beauty chain could have made if it had enough of Jenner’s products in inventory?
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Investors have reason to stay optimistic about the market in the long run if the Federal Reserve continues to hold interest rates and there’s hope that a trade deal with China will come through, Cramer said.
The major indexes soared during the session before losing their gains after news broke that China could walk back some concessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.10 percent, the S&P 500 slipped 0.01 percent, and the Nasdaq finished up 0.12 percent.
But Cramer said people are wrong to believe that the market’s recent strength “was based on a leap of faith.”
“The run this morning had a lot more to do with a leap of taste, meaning money managers were buying the stocks of high-quality companies because their stories are meatier than the average investor may realize, even as they threw away other stocks that need good news on trade to go higher as the session moved on into the late hours,” the host said.
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Nutanix, the cloud software for hyper-converged systems, disappointed on latest quarterly earnings report in February and delivered tepid guidance, Cramer said. He checked in with CEO Dheerej Pandey, a day before an analyst call, to find out where the company is going.
“It’s not just about communication but it’s also about taking a step back and talking about what we did in the last two years … [when] we said we’re going to go after large customers and large deals and we’ve done a really good job,” Pandey said. “What happened last year was that you know there’s a flywheel in this business which is if the margins start to go up you take the margins and plow it back into the business [to] get more new customers.”
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Millennials make up 25 percent of Norwegian Cruise Line‘s bookings and the company is putting more accommodations on board its ships to attract the fastest-growing customer base, CEO Frank Del Rio told CNBC.
“We are now building ships with the understanding that Instagram is something to deal with,” he said in an interview with Cramer. “We’re actually creating Instagram venues so that, when you get the urge, they’re going to go there and that’s the best publicity [we] can have.”
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CEO Frederick Smith called it a “tale of two stories.” Despite opening adding more expenses to its budget with “enormous” new hubs in Pennsylvania and Connecticut expanding to 6-day weeks all year, domestic shipments were “pretty good,” he said. But international revenues fell short.
“We had anticipated about $6 billion in increased revenues for the fiscal year that ends May 31,” Smith told Cramer. “We’re going to end up with about $4.5 billion, but we are seeing some green sprouts now in the international side and we’re optimistic as we go into FY20.”
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In Cramer’s lightning round, the “Mad Money” host sprinted through his reaction to callers’ stock picks:
Guardant Health Inc.: “This thing was under priced. I don’t know how it became so low, and I loved the fact that they’ve got some incredible testing. This is actually a winner. I would not let go of this story.”
International Business Machines Corp.: “Well I think that the IBM acquisition of Red Hat is actually going to help the company greatly and if Jim Whitehurst stays for the next two years, I think you’re going to see the stock up considerably. In the meantime, the yield’s four percent and it’s got a decent—you know that dividend is not going to climb the way it used to maybe because I spent so much money on Red Hat, but I think the combination is terrific.”
Kimberly-Clark Corp.: “Nobody ever got hurt buying Kimberly-Clark. I know it’s been down in the dumps of late and [in] the last few years hasn’t done as well as Procter [& Gamble]. I do prefer Procter more than Kimberly, but I certainly would not sell Kimberly-Clark here and I do think raw costs are going down.”
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