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Ross Stores reports higher profit, reduces forecast

16
Aug '06
Off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc reported earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended July 29, 2006 of $.32 and net earnings for the period of $45.4 million. These results are after $3.3 million, or an equivalent of about $.01 per share, in stock option related expenses recognized pursuant to FAS No 123, 'Share-Based Payment.'

For the 13 weeks ended July 30, 2005, net earnings totaled $42.3 million, and earnings per share were $.29. Fiscal 2006 second quarter sales increased 12% to $1.308 billion, with comparable store sales for the period up 4% on top of a 7% increase in the prior year.

For the six months ended July 29, 2006, earnings per share were $.73 and net earnings totaled $104.6 million. These results are after $6.8 million, or an equivalent of about $.03 per share, in stock option related expenses recognized pursuant to FAS No 123, 'Share-Based Payment.'

For the six months ended July 30, 2005, net earnings totaled $92.3 million, and earnings per share were $.62. Sales for the first six months of 2006 increased 13% to $2.600 billion, with comparable store sales for the period up 5% on top of a 5% gain in the prior year.

Michael Balmuth, VC, President and CEO, said, "Second quarter sales and earnings were at the high end of our initial forecast for the period, benefiting from broadbased geographic and merchandise trends. Operating margin, before the effect of stock option related expenses was relatively flat to the prior year. As apercent of sales, improvements in distribution costs and merchandise margin were offset by higher shrink accruals, freight, store and occupancy expenses."


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