Ross Stores Inc. Earnings: Fifth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Ross Stores operates two chains of off-price retail apparel and home accessories stores in the United States and Guam.

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Ross Stores Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the apparel store rose to $192 million (85 cents per share) vs. $161.8 million (69 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 18.6% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 11.8% to $2.4 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Ross Stores Inc. fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 86 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.39 billion.

Quoting Management: Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with our robust sales and earnings in the fourth quarter and fiscal year of 2011, especially considering they were achieved on top of strong multi-year gains. Our healthy revenue growth continues to be driven mainly by our ability to deliver compelling bargains on a wide assortment of exciting name brand fashions for the family and the home to today’s increasingly value-focused consumers.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen its net income rise for three quarters in a row. In the third quarter, net income rose 18.6% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 14.7%.

Revenue has increased for four quarters in a row. Revenue increased 9.2% to $2.05 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 9.3% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 7.2% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations the quarter before with net income of 63 cents.

The company’s cost of sales rose 11.7% from a year earlier. Last quarter, cost of sales was 72.8% of revenue, similar to the prior-year quarter.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next-quarter performance are higher than they were ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has risen to 87 cents per share from 84 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $2.81 a share to $2.88 over the last ninety days.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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