Ross Stores Earnings Call Insights: Sandy’s Impact and Store Productivity

On Thursday, Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Sandy’s Impact

Rick Patel – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch: Can you talk about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on your business in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, perhaps quantify the impact it’s having on your November comp? Then secondly, can you just talk about the impacts of the Hurricane on your sourcing opportunities? With a number of retailers having been impacted are you seeing an abundance of buying opportunities in the marketplace, and if so, should we expect your pack-away inventories to rise in the coming months?

Michael B. O’Sullivan – President and COO: Rick, it’s Michael O’Sullivan, I’ll answer that. In terms of impacts on sales, we wouldn’t expect it to be material and as the impact is already baked into our guidance we just given for fourth quarter. In terms of sourcing, it’s a little bit early to tell. Right now we are pretty happy with the supply that we are seeing, we don’t know whether Hurricane Sandy is contributing to that or not.

Rick Patel – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch: Can you talk about your business in California, it seems like the last few months have been tough out there with some gas price volatility and some unfavorable weather, were the trend in that region significantly different in 3Q versus prior quarters and what’s your outlook for that region in the fourth quarter?

Michael B. O’Sullivan – President and COO: Actually California has been performing pretty well, we’ve been pretty happy with performance in the states. It’s pretty close to the chain, just a little bit lower than the chain. So we are not too concerned. In terms of prospects over the next couple of quarters we don’t see a lot of issues that could change that trend.