Ross Stores posts better-than-expected sales and earnings in Q4, fiscal 2016

Ross Stores on Tuesday announced a new two-year $1.75 billion stock repurchase program after achieving a 14% increase in fourth quarter net earnings to $301 million and earnings per share of $0.77. Fiscal year earnings increased 10% to $1.1 billion and earnings per share increased 13% to $2.83.

Barbara Rentler, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with our better-than-expected sales and earnings results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, especially given our strong multi-year comparisons and the highly competitive and promotional holiday season. Our results continued to benefit from our ability to offer customers great values on a wide assortment of gifts and fashions for the family and the home.”
The CEO added that fourth quarter operating margin increased 90 basis points to 13.6% from 12.7% in the previous year, driven by above-plan sales.
Fourth quarter sales increased 8% to $3.5 billion and comparable sales for the quarter went up 4%. Sales for the fiscal year also increased 8% to $12.9 billion, and comparable sales jumped 4%.
Rentler commented that the company will be cautious in 2017 due to the uncertain political, macro-economic, and retail climates. Ross Stores is expecting fiscal 2017 same store sales to increase 1% to 2% compared to 4% in the previous year, and for earnings per share to range from $3.02 to $3.15, an increase of 7% to 11% from $2.83 in the prior year.
In addition, first quarter comparable sales are projected to be up 1% to 2% and earnings per share are expected to range from $0.76 to $0.79.

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