Ross Stores Net Rises 17.1 Percent in Q2

Ross StoresPLEASANTON, Calif.-Improved sales and gross margin bolstered Ross Stores’ second-quarter net income by 17.1 percent to $213.1 million.

Net sales in the quarter, which ended on Aug. 3, rose 9 percent to $2.6 billion, including a gain of 4 percent in same-store sales. Gross margin increased 70 basis points to 28.5 percent.

Both of these figures were above the retailer’s expectations, according to Michael Balmuth, Ross’ vice chairman and CEO. Balmuth said Ross’ financials benefited from “the solid execution of our core off-price strategy of delivering compelling name-brand bargains to today’s value-focused customers.”

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 8.3 percent in dollars but declined by 10 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 14.9 percent.

Looking ahead, Balmuth said Ross is maintaining a cautious outlook, given the uncertainty of the macroeconomic environment and the highly promotional and competitive retail economy. The company is forecasting a slight increase in earnings per share for the third quarter, and a small drop in earnings per share for the fiscal year as a whole.