Strong Q4 Comps Propel Ross Stores

Strong fourth quarter comps helped propel positive growth for Ross Stores.

Ross Stores, for the 14-week fourth quarter ended February 3, posted diluted earnings per share of $1.19, up from 77 cents in the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2017, with net earnings of $450.7 million, versus $300.6 million in the period a year before.

Comparable store sales advanced 5% in the quarter year over year. Fourth quarter sales gained 16% to $4.07 billion.

For the fiscal year, diluted earnings per share were $3.55, up from $2.83 in the year-prior fiscal year, while net earnings were $1.36 billion versus $1.12 billion in the fiscal year earlier. Fiscal year comps gained 4%. Sales for the fiscal year grew 10% to $14.13 billion.

Earnings results for both the 2017 fourth quarter and fiscal year incorporated a per share benefit of approximately 10 cents from the extra week included in both periods and 21 cents from recently enacted tax reform legislation. With the one-time items excluded, earnings per share increased 14% for both the quarter and fiscal 2017 compared to the previous year.

As calculated by Zacks Investment Research, adjusted earnings per diluted share beat an analyst average estimate by five cents.

Barbara Rentler, Ross CEO, said, “Despite our own difficult multi-year comparisons and a very competitive retail climate, sales and earnings were well ahead of our expectations for both the fourth quarter and the full year. We are pleased with these results, which reflect our ongoing success in delivering broad assortments of compelling bargains to today’s value-driven shoppers.”