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Why Ulta Beauty, Broadcom, and Aurora Cannabis Jumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Friday saw another positive session on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting triple-digit gains and other major stock indexes following suit with solid moves higher. Despite some weak numbers from government officials on the state of the manufacturing industry in the U.S., investors seemed to take heart from encouraging signs of progress on the trade front, as well as good news from some high-profile companies. Earnings were also a key driver of market sentiment. Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA), Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO), and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Ulta looks beautiful

Shares of Ulta Beauty jumped 8% after the cosmetics and salon chain reported fourth-quarter financial results. Ulta said that revenue was higher by nearly 10% from the year-ago period despite having one less week, and comparable sales were up 9.4%. Stronger traffic was primarily responsible for the gains, but Ulta said that customers tended to spend slightly more as well, and the company got good traction from its e-commerce business despite the huge value of its in-store salons. With guidance for the coming year calling for double-digit sales growth and continued gains in its online business, Ulta's never looked better to investors.

Lipstick, powder, and people at a salon, under a heading We Are Ulta Beauty.

Image source: Ulta Beauty.

Broadcom overcomes sluggishness in China

Broadcom saw its stock climb 8% following the release of its fiscal first-quarter financial report. The technology solutions provider said that revenue climbed 9% from year-earlier levels, and adjusted net income from continuing operations was modestly higher over the same period. Broadcom saw extreme weakness in its semiconductor solutions business, blaming slowing growth in China for some of the challenges that part of the company faces. Yet infrastructure software revenue quadrupled over the past 12 months, and CEO Hock Tan has shareholders feeling optimistic that Broadcom will be able to stay on track and ride the cyclical ups and downs in the wireless industry.

Aurora lights up

Finally, shares of Aurora Cannabis gained 7%. The Canadian cannabis company received positive comments from analysts at Cowen, who repeated their previous rating of outperform for the stock. News earlier this week that billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz had taken on an advisory role should help Aurora move more quickly and effectively in plotting a course forward, and Aurora's leadership role in cannabis production gives it an edge that only a few of its rivals can come close to matching. If Peltz can bring a high-profile partner to the table, then Aurora could look even more attractive to investors.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Broadcom Ltd and Ulta Beauty. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.