(ROST) Ross Stores’ February Results Strong

February 2012 proved another strong month for Ross Stores Inc. (ROST), the largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in U.S., with sales and same store sales numbers showing substantial improvement and coming out above expectations.

Ross Stores’ same-store sales for four weeks ended February 25, 2012 rose 9%, above the February 2011 same-store sales. Net sales for the period marked an increase of 14% to $677 million from $595 million reported in the four weeks ended February 26, 2011.

Robust February results, which marked a solid start to fiscal 2012, were driven mainly by favorable weather conditions in a majority of the markets where the company operates. This, in turn, resulted in improved broad-based merchandise and geographic trends.

Looking ahead into the first quarter of 2012, the company expects a further boost to the results with the March/April Easter selling period slated to begin shortly. Despite expectations of strong selling period ahead, the company maintained its same store sales forecasts of 1% to 2% increase for both March and April.

Ross Stores is scheduled to release its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 earnings results on Thursday, March 15, 2012. The company’s March 2012 sales results are expected on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 are 85 cents per share and $2.86 per share, respectively.

Ross’ shares maintain a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating. Our long-term recommendation on the stock remains Outperform. The company primarily competes with Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), The TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).

KOHLS CORP (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report

ROSS STORES (ROST): Free Stock Analysis Report

TJX COS INC NEW (TJX): Free Stock Analysis Report

WAL-MART STORES (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

View original at: Zacks Investment Research – All Commentary Articles

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