Earnings Update: Ross Stores, Rue21, Brown Shoe

Ross StoresRoss Stores Q4 Profit Rises on Strong Sales

Pleasanton, CA—Ross Stores posted net earnings of $161.80 million or $1.37 per for the fourth quarter, higher than $142.88 million or $1.16 per share in the prior-year quarter. The results, which were in line with analysts’ average forecast, included holiday sales.

Ross Stores reported its same-store sales rose 4% during the quarter ended Jan. 29 on top of a 10% increase in the same period a year ago. Total sales rose 8.4% to $2.15 billion, the company said Thursday. Ross’s board voted to raise the quarterly dividend 38% to 22 cents per quarter.

Earlier this month, Ross reported same-store sales gains had continued in February and forecast they would rise again in the rest of the current quarter, though more quickly in April because of Easter’s later timing this year.

Ross’s board voted to raise the quarterly dividend 38% to 22 cents per quarter.

For the full year ending Jan. 29, Ross had earnings of $554.8 million, or $4.63 per share, up from $442.8 million, or $3.54 per share, for 2009.

“These results demonstrate that we continue to benefit from our favorable position as a value retailer as well as the efficient execution of our off-price strategies,” Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and ceo, said.

 

Rue21Rue21 Q4 Profit Surges on 22% Sales Hike

Warrendale, PA– Rue21 posted a strong increase in fourth quarter profit on the back of a major sales surge, led by increased accessories revenues.

“The company had strong growth across all categories, with our etc! accessories merchandising leading the way as we converted 31 stores during the year to our larger etc! format,” said Bob Fisch, president and ceo.

 

The company posted Tuesday net income of $10.9 million, or 45 cents per share, in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, up from $7.7 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. Net sales rose from $155.4 million to $190.1 million, a 22.3% increase.

For the full year, the company earned $30.2 million, or $1.25 per share, up from $22 million, or 99 cents per share, in 2009. Revenue was $634.7 million, up from $525.6 million, a 20.8% increase.

Fisch said the company opened 105 stores in 2010, and plans to open 110 new stores in 2011. The company expects earnings per share to range between $1.40 and $1.44 in fiscal 2011.

“I am pleased with February and early March results due to our excellent selling of regular priced merchandise in all categories of business,” Fisch said. “We feel well-positioned to achieve another quarter of profitable growth.”

Rue21 expects earnings per share to range between $1.40 and $1.44 in fiscal 2011.

 

Famous FootwearBrown Shoe Q4 Hurt by ‘Sourcing Issues’

St. Louis–Brown Shoe Company Inc. blamed “sourcing and supply chain pressures” and disruption caused by its new information technology systems for a 32% drop in fourth quarter profit.

Even though sales for the three months to Jan. 29  rose 6.8% to $604.5 million – including a 4.9% rise in same-store sales at the Famous Footwear chain – fourth quarter net earnings fell to $3.4 million, or $0.08 per share, from $5.0 million or $0.12 per share, a year earlier.

Gross profit rate fell to 38.9% from 41.1%, as increases at the Famous Footwear and Specialty Retail divisions were offset by a greater-than-expected decline at its wholesale division.

For the full year, net earnings nearly quadrupled to $37.2 million or $0.85 per share, from $9.5m or $0.22 per share, the year before. Net sales were up 11.7% to a record $2.5 billion, the company said.

“We were pleased to deliver this improvement even as we faced challenges in the second half related to sourcing and supply chain inefficiencies as well as the systems migration within our Wholesale business in the fourth quarter,” explained Diane Sullivan, president and coo, said.

“We expect our momentum to continue into 2011, despite planning our legacy Wholesale business more cautiously in the near-term as we work through our systems conversion,” she added.

The company, which acquired American Sporting Goods’ athletic and outdoor brands last month, sees net sales growth in the low double digit range, and adjusted earnings per share growth of around 22% to $1.25 to $1.32 for the full year.

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