For the13-week quarter ended November 2, Ross Stores, Inc. posted net earnings of $171.6 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, up from $159.5 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, for the 13-week period ended October 27, 2012. Third quarter sales increased 6% to $2.4 billion, and comparable store sales gained 2%.
Ross earnings met a Zacks Consensus estimate of financial analysts.
Third quarter earnings before taxes were $270.2 million versus $254.1 million in the year-prior period.
Michael Balmuth, Ross vice chairman and CEO, commented, “Third quarter sales were in line with our guidance, while earnings were better-than-expected mainly due to above-plan merchandise gross margin. Operating margin of 11.3% was relatively flat to last year. As a percent of sales, an improvement in cost of goods sold was offset by an increase in selling, general and administrative expenses.”
The company operated 1,154 Ross Dress for Less locations in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Guam as of November 2. It also operates 131 dd’s Discounts in 10 states.