Home Ross Surpasses $5 Billion in Q4 Sales
March 2, 2022
Ross Surpasses $5 Billion in Q4 Sales

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Ross Stores surpassed $5 billion in sales in the fourth quarter, although earnings slipped versus fiscal 2019 while still beating a Wall Street estimate.

Net earnings for the quarter were $366.8 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, versus $238 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, in the fiscal 2020 period, and, in the pre-COVID-19-pandemic 2019 quarter, $456.1 million, or $1.28 per diluted share.

Ross topped a MarketBeat published analyst consensus estimate for earnings at 97 cents and sales, at $4.95 billion.

Comparable sales gained 9% versus the 2019 fourth quarter, the company reported.

Net sales for the quarter were $5.02 billion versus $4.25 billion in the fiscal 2020 quarter and $4.41 billion in the fiscal 2019 period, Ross noted.

For the full year, net earnings were $1.72 billion, or $4.87 per diluted share, versus $85.4 billion, or 24 cents per diluted share, in fiscal 2020 and $1.66 billion, or $4.60 per diluted share, in fiscal 2019.

Net sales for the full year were $18.92 billion versus $12.53 billion in fiscal 2020 and $16.04 billion in fiscal 2019, Ross indicated.

In announcing the financial results, Barbara Rentler, Ross CEO, said, “We achieved strong sales results in the fourth quarter despite the negative impact from both the surge in Omicron cases during the peak holiday selling period and continued supply chain congestion. Fourth-quarter operating margin of 9.8% was down from 13.3% in 2019 mainly due to ongoing headwinds from higher freight, wages and COVID-related costs.”

Rentler added, “Fiscal 2022 is extremely difficult to predict, especially early in the year. In addition to the ongoing Omicron surge that began just before Christmas, we are up against last year’s record government stimulus and the lifting of COVID restrictions that led to unprecedented consumer demand which fueled extraordinary sales gains in the Spring of 2021. Given consumers’ increased focus on value and convenience, we have seen favorable sales trends in both our new and in-fill market stores. As a result, along with the large number of retail closures and bankruptcies over the last several years, we now believe that Ross Dress for Less can expand to about 2,900 locations, up from our prior target of 2,400, and that dd’s Discounts can eventually become a chain of approximately 700 stores, versus our previous projection of 600. This represents an overall 20% increase in our forecasted potential to 3,600 stores, providing substantial runway for expansion relative to our year-end store count of 1,923 locations. We operate in an attractive sector of retail and our mission continues to be delivering the best bargains possible to leverage our favorable market position. Looking at 2023 and beyond, we are targeting a return to double-digit earnings per share growth, driven by a combination of same-store sales gains, operating margin improvement, accelerated new store openings and our ongoing stock repurchase program.”

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