Dublin, California, November 20, 2014 — Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended November 1, 2014 of $.93, up 16% from $.80 for the 13 weeks ended November 2, 2013. Net earnings for the third quarter ended November 1, 2014 were $193 million, up from $172 million for the third quarter ended November 2, 2013. Fiscal 2014 third quarter sales increased 8% to $2.599 billion, with comparable store sales up 4% over the prior year.
For the nine months ended November 1, 2014, earnings per share were $3.22, up 13% from $2.86 for the nine months ended November 2, 2013. Net earnings for the 2014 year-to-date period grew to $676 million, up from $619 million in the prior year. Sales for the first nine months of 2014 increased 7% to $8.009 billion, with comparable store sales up 2% over the same year-to-date period in 2013.
Barbara Rentler, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with the better-than-expected sales and earnings we achieved in the third quarter. These results were driven by our ongoing ability to deliver compelling bargains to our customers, which drove above-plan sales gains and strong merchandise gross margins. Operating margin for the quarter grew 55 basis points due to a 40 basis point improvement in cost of goods sold and a 15 basis point decline in selling, general and administrative expenses.”
Fourth Quarter 2014 Guidance
Looking ahead, Ms. Rentler commented, “As we enter the fourth quarter, our merchants have acquired a wide array of exciting and sharply-priced name brand fashions and gifts to appeal to today’s value-focused shoppers. That said, we believe it is prudent to maintain a cautious outlook given the ongoing uncertainties in the macro-economic environment and the likelihood of an intensely competitive and promotional holiday season. As a result, while we hope to do better, we are maintaining our current guidance for the fourth quarter.”
For the 13 weeks ending January 31, 2015, the Company continues to project comparable store sales up 1% to 2% with earnings per share forecast to be $1.05 to $1.09, up from $1.02 for the 13 weeks ended February 1, 2014. For the 52 weeks ending January 31, 2015, earnings per share are now projected to increase 10% to 11% to $4.28 to $4.32, compared to $3.88 for the 52 weeks ended February 1, 2014.
The Company will provide additional details concerning its third quarter results, fourth quarter and fiscal 2014 guidance, and business outlook on a conference call to be held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 4:15 p.m. Eastern time. Participants may listen to a real-time audio webcast of the conference call by visiting the Investors section of the Company’s website, located at www.rossstores.com. A recorded version of the call will be available at the website address and via a telephone recording until 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on November 28, 2014 at 404-537-3406, PIN #28126196.
Source: Ross Stores