Ross Stores Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Company Enjoys Fifth Straight Quarter of Double-Digit Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) reported its results for the third 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 Third Quarter

Results: Net income for Ross Stores Inc. rose to $144 million ($1.26 per share) vs. $121.4 million ($1.02 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 18.6% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 9.2% to $2.05 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ROST fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of $1.26 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.03 billion.

Quoting Management: Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with our above-plan sales and earnings in the third quarter and first nine months of 2011, especially considering this growth was achieved on top of exceptional increases in the prior two years. Our strong revenue gains continue 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. In addition, operating our business on lower in-store inventories is driving faster turns and lower markdowns, which continues to benefit profit margins.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the second quarter, net income rose 14.7% and in the first quarter, the figure rose 21.5%.

The company has now fallen in step with estimates for the last three quarters. It reported net income of $1.28 in the second quarter, net income of $1.48 in the first quarter and net income of $1.37 in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 9.3% to $2.09 billion in the second quarter. The figure rose 7.2% in the first quarter from the year earlier and climbed 8.4% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company’s cost of sales rose 9.1% from a year earlier. Last quarter, cost of sales was 72.8% of revenue, similar to a year earlier.

Looking Forward: For next quarter, analysts have a more positive outlook about the company’s expected results. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is $1.59 per share, up from $1.53 ninety days ago. At $5.60 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has risen from $5.39 sixty days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Citi Trends, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTRN), Syms Corp. (NASDAQ:SYMS), Stein Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMRT), Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), and The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE).

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