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Ulta Beauty’s stock experienced a significant decline of nearly 15% in intraday trading on Wednesday, as the beauty products retailer reported a slowdown in business during the first two months of its fiscal first quarter. Despite this, CEO Dave Kimbell expressed optimism that the pullback will ease later in the year.

Kimbell explained that the decline was seen across various price points and segments within the beauty category, which was larger and earlier than anticipated. He also warned that if this slowdown persists, Ulta Beauty expects current-quarter comparable store sales to be at the lower end of its previous guidance, which predicted a low-single-digit percentage gain.

The company is also facing stiff competition, particularly in the prestige makeup and hair care product categories. This competition has had a direct impact on Ulta Beauty’s performance in the earlier months of the year.

As a result of these challenges, Ulta Beauty’s shares fell into negative territory for the year as of Wednesday afternoon, with a 14.6% decline. The negative impact was also observed in other companies within the sector, such as Estee Lauder and Bath & Body Works, which experienced a drop of 4.3% and 3%, respectively.

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