Why Ross Stores Is Among the Best Retailers Reporting This Quarter

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Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) released its most recent earnings report after the markets closed on Thursday. In a rare move, this company has seemingly bucked the sliding retail trend and is easily one of the best reporting retailers this quarter.

The company said that it had $0.82 in earnings per share (EPS) and $3.43 billion in revenue, which compared with consensus estimates of $0.76 in EPS and revenue of $3.37 billion. In the second quarter of last year, the company posted EPS of $0.71 and $3.18 billion in revenue.

Comparable sales grew 4% in this quarter, on top of 4% growth last year.

For the third quarter, management forecasts a same-store sales gain of 1% to 2%, on top of a 7% increase in the prior year. The company also projects EPS to be in the range of $0.64 to $0.67, up from $0.62 in last year’s third quarter. Consensus estimates call for $0.91 in EPS and $3.91 billion in revenue for the current quarter.

On the books, Ross Stores cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $1.15 billion at the end of the quarter, up from with $928.9 million in the same period of last year.

Barbara Rentler, CEO of Ross, commented:

We are pleased with the better-than-expected growth we delivered in both sales and earnings in the second quarter, especially given our strong multi-year comparisons and today’s volatile retail climate. Operating margin of 14.9% outperformed our projections, mainly due to a combination of higher merchandise margin and leverage on our above-plan sales gains.

Shares of Ross were last seen up over 10% at $59.00 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $71.19 and a 52-week range of $52.85 to $69.81.