Ross Stores (ROST) Tops Q3 EPS by 6c; Issues Solid Outlook

November 17, 2016 4:04 PM EST

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Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST) reported Q3 EPS of $0.62, $0.06 better than the analyst estimate of $0.56. Revenue for the quarter came in at $3.1 billion versus the consensus estimate of $2.96 billion.

Sales for the 2016 third quarter rose 11% to $3.1 billion, with comparable store sales up 7% versus a 3% gain in the prior year.


Ross Stores sees FY2016 EPS of $2.78-$2.81, versus the consensus of $2.75.

Barbara Rentler, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are very pleased with our better-than-expected sales and earnings growth in the third quarter as customers responded favorably to the compelling values we offered throughout our stores. Operating margin of 12.6% was ahead of plan, increasing 55 basis points mainly from higher merchandise margin."

Ms. Rentler added, "During the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2016, we repurchased 2.8 million and 9.1 million shares of common stock, respectively, for an aggregate price of $179 million in the quarter and $530 million year-to-date. We remain on track to buy back a total of $700 million in common stock during fiscal 2016 to complete the two-year $1.4 billion authorization approved by our Board of Directors in February 2015."

Ms. Rentler continued, "As we enter this year's holiday season, we face our most challenging multi-year sales comparisons. In addition, the ongoing uncertainty in the macro-economic, political, and retail environments could, once again, lead to a very promotional fourth quarter. While we hope to do better, given these potential headwinds, we are maintaining our comparable sales guidance for a 1% to 2% increase on top of 6% and 4% gains in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Earnings per share for the period are expected to be $.72 to $.75, up from $.66 in last year's fourth quarter. Based on our year-to-date results and updated guidance, fiscal 2016 earnings per share are now forecasted to be $2.78 to $2.81, up 11% to 12% on top of a 14% gain last year."

For earnings history and earnings-related data on Ross Stores (ROST) click here.

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