Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) expects to return to the normal annual opening program of approximately 100 stores in 2022

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Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) stock fell 4.28% (As on Nov 19, 11:15:09 AM UTC-4, Source: Google Finance) after the company posted better than expected results for the third quarter of FY 21. The company’s earnings totaled $385.03 million compared with $131.20 million, in last year’s third quarter. For the third quarter at Ross, children and men’s were the best performing businesses, while the Midwest and Southeast were the top performing regions. dd’s DISCOUNTS trends remained strong during the period as their sales performance also significantly exceeded the expectations. However, like Ross, dd’s profitability was negatively impacted by cost pressures related to freight, wages and COVID. At quarter end, total consolidated inventories were up 3%, while average selling store inventories were down 1% versus 2019. Packaway levels ended at 31% of the total compared to 39% for the same period in 2019 as the company continues to use a substantial amount of packaway merchandise to support ahead of planned sales. In addition, there were receipt delays due to supply chain congestion. Further, the company has completed the expansion program for 2021 with the addition of 18 new Ross and 10 dd’s DISCOUNTS in third quarter. For the full year, the company has added 65 locations comprised of 44 Ross and 21 dd’s DISCOUNTS. The company also plans to close 1 store by year-end. The company expects to return to the normal annual opening program of approximately 100 stores in 2022.

ROST in the third quarter of FY 21 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $1.09, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of 79 cents, according to Zacks Investment Research. The company had reported the adjusted revenue growth of 19 percent to $4.57 billion in the third quarter of FY 21, beating the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $4.37 billion.

During the third quarter, the company had repurchased 2.1 million shares of common stock for an aggregate cost of $241 million. The company remains on track to buyback a total of $650 million in stock for the year.

The company expects earnings per share for fiscal 2021 to be in the range of $4.65 to $4.75 on a comparable store sales gain of 12% to 13% and expects operating margin to be 8.1% to 8.8%.

The company expects comparable store sales to be up 7% to 9% with earnings per share projected in the range of $0.83 to $0.93 for the 13 weeks ending January 29, 2022.

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