Pleasanton, CA—Bargain-hunting shoppers continued to trek to Ross Stores, giving the off-price retailer another strong quarter. On Nov. 15, the company reported an 11% increase in its third quarter profit but gave a more conservative forecast for fourth quarter due to the sluggish economy this holiday season.
For the quarter ended Oct. 27, Ross Stores posted net income of $159.5 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with $144 million, or 63 cents a share, from a year ago.
Net revenue rose 10% to $2.26 billion. Comparable store sales were up 6% on top of a 5% gain a year ago.
The quarterly results met analysts’ average expectations.
Gross profit increased 10.3% to $613.7 million. However, gross profit margin narrowed to 27.12% from 27.18% last year, primarily due to higher cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales.
Looking ahead, Ross Stores forecast fourth quarter earnings to be between 99 cents and $1.04 a share with comparable store sales rising between 1% to 2%.
“While we hope to do better, we believe it is prudent to maintain our prior fourth quarter guidance,” Michael Balmuth, ceo,
Analysts’ consensus expects earnings of $1.04 a share.