Ross Stores Q2 Better-Than Expected Earnings

Ross Stores storefrontPleasanton, CA—Ross Stores reported late Thursday a better-than-expected second quarter earnings causing the off price retailer to raise its full year forecast.

Net income was $239.6 million or $1.14 a share, compared to $213.1 million, or 98 cents a share for the year-ago quarter. That was ahead of analysts’ consensus for $1.08 a share.

Sales increased 7% to $2.73 billion from $2.55 billion a year ago, ahead of the $1.71 billion analysts expected. Comparable store sales grew 2%.

The results were 6 cents above Stifel analysts’ estimate and at the high end of management’s guidance. Results benefited by 2 cents a share due to a favorable resolution of a legal matter. Excluding this benefit, EPS increased 14%.

CEO Barbara Rentler, said: “Our second quarter sales performed at the high-end of our expectations as today’s value-focused consumers continued to respond to our wide assortment of competitive name brand bargains.”

Stifel analyst Richard Jaffe, noted: “Solid results on top of strong year-on-year comparisons as the off-price sector remains favored with customers who are responding positively to the company’s competitively priced, appealing, nationally recognized, branded merchandise.”

Looking ahead, for the third quarter, earnings per share are projected to be 83 to 87 cents, up from 80 cents a year ago. Fourth quarter projections are for $1.05 to $1.09 a share.

Ross raised its fiscal 2014 earnings guidance to a range of $4.18 to $4.2

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